Vincent Mazy (General Manager)
In July 2021, Corman was hit hard by flooding in Belgium and other neighboring countries. The production plant, located in Goé, Belgium, was submerged in the middle of the night by the waters of the Vesdre river and by the "tsunami" caused by the release of water from an upstream dam. As a result of this disaster, the production plant had to be shut down for many months of cleaning, repair and reconstruction work. Thanks to the efforts and work of all the teams to restore the plant, in early November, almost four months after the disaster, a production line was able to restart. This long awaited restart allows the return of some of Corman's flagship products.
How did you experience the day after the floods and the first few days?
As immediate access to our production site was impossible after the floods, we went up with a drone to analyze the damage: a nightmare! The water had taken absolutely everything away. 100 tons of finished products (1000 tanks) destroyed by the water, our packaging: all gone, trees uprooted and countless debris.
How did you manage the first phase after the disaster?
Nobody is prepared for such a crisis. So I discovered a new job. I had to set up a new organization. The most important thing was to communicate well with everyone: with our employees, with our Savencia group, with the insurers. The hardest thing for all of us was having to assume that we were no longer able to deliver to our customers. This was an absolutely unimaginable situation under normal circumstances.
When did you make the decision to rebuild?
We have always been a very profitable site. After the first shock, Savencia immediately guaranteed us its support. So very soon we held a general meeting with all the employees. We promised them: "We will rebuild Corman".
What is the current status of "Corman Comeback"?
First of all, we have cleaned everything up, put the heating back on and installed a new high-voltage cabinet. We've tried about 80 different techniques to dry the place. There are still 400 electrical cabinets that need to be cleaned. Then we restarted the water treatment plant. Already at the end of 2021, we restarted a first line in "degraded mode," meaning that palletizing is still done by hand. The new palletizers are expected in the spring. They will be more efficient in terms of quality and also safer.