FBR and Brickworks officially form joint venture to deliver automated brick laying to Australia

FBR Brickworks Fast Brick Robotics ASX BKW joint venture
FBR and Brickworks’ jointly owned subsidiary Fastbrick Australia will deliver automated brick laying construction to Australia’s building sector.

Robotic brick laying company FBR (ASX: FBR) and Brickworks (ASX: BKW) have officially started a joint venture which will see the duo provide Wall as a Service operations to the Australian construction sector.

The duo has established Fastbrick Australia as a subsidiary to deliver the joint venture with each company owning a 50% stake.

Fastbrick Australia will now begin pilot program operations to test a new brick developed specifically for FBR’s Hadrian X construction robot.

“We are very pleased to have a joint venture partner in Australia with the reputation and scale of Brickworks to jointly offer Wall as a Service to the Australian market,” FBR chief executive officer Mike Pivac noted.

“Fastbrick Australia provides FBR with an opportunity in Australia to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hadrian X with the new optimised blocks developed with Brickworks and also to demonstrate and test our business model for the commercialisation of Wall as a Service, which we intent to scale on a global basis,” Mr Pivac added.

Hadrian X

Under the initial pilot program, the joint venture plans to engage with building companies to provide structural brickwork for residential homes using Hadrian X.

Hadrian X is an autonomous brick laying robot that can build an entire house in less than three days using FBR’s patented 3D robotic brick laying system.

The joint venture anticipates the Wall as a Service activities will generate operating revenues as the technology is commercialised.

In February this year, FBR successfully completed it first outdoor construction of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home structure in Western Australia.

FBR share price movement

The official joint venture heralds a new era for FBR which has experienced volatility in its share price since December last year when global construction major Caterpillar and FBR discontinued a memorandum of understanding they had inked in mid-2017.

At the time, Caterpillar confirmed the decision to discontinue the MoU was a reflection of its strategic priorities and not an indication of FBR’s progress or technology.

From a high of $0.21 in mid-November, FBR’s share price started its decline with the cessation of the MoU and continued to slip – hitting a low of $0.07 in January.

Since January, FBR’s share price has hovered around $0.07 with the company’s share price at $0.073 before market open.

Lorna has more than 10 years' experience as a finance journalist and editor. She has written for numerous industry publications reporting on various sectors, including: resources, energy, construction, biotech, pharma, science and technology, agriculture, and chemicals. Specialising in resources, Lorna has also covered a myriad of small and large cap ASX and dual-listed stocks.