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​ProCork’s recent and rapid growth in the market suffered a setback on Tuesday evening last week when a fire burnt the electrical components of the ProCork membrane application machines and extensively damaged the factory in Porto, Portugal.

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ProCork CEO, Dr Gregor Christie said “The fire is suspicious. We had an intruder detected by our alarm system twenty minutes before an explosion was heard up to 300 meters away, and fire was seen coming from the factory. These machines are solid cast-iron blocks, like an engine block, that at high speed weld the crystalline membrane to the end of the cork. They are built like a tank and are not fire prone.” Dr Christie also lead the team that developed the machines that made it possible to apply the novel crystalline material to the cork.

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”All the equipment is isolated from the power circuits and is maintained to the highest standards. There is nothing in our factory to cause an explosion" said Dr Christie. "The crystalline membrane was all intact and hardly affected by the heat but corks caught fire and created a lot of smoke and heat. This would not have happened while people were in the factory because there is nothing dangerous in what we do. After 20 years of producing we have never had even the slightest hint of a fire danger. We thank the firefighters who had a difficult job and the neighbours for their quick action.”

Dr Christie said “The recent increase in winemaker acceptance and their desire for the ProCork membrane has been because of the growing scientific validation of the effectiveness of the crystalline membrane.” 

Recent chemical analysis of ten year old wines bottled with and without the ProCork membrane was showing that cork tannins extracted from the cork were significantly interfering with the wine and ProCork solved this problem. 

Dr Christie said "Revolutionary technology always upsets the status quo and we are finding wineries who trial our technology are always surprised by how significantly and quickly cork tannin alters the wine. ProCork is the best closure to allow the winemaker to present his wine in the spirit in which it was made without interference from the cork."

Dr Gregor Christie then went on to say “We are assessing the situation now and we will provide a schedule for production shortly. At this moment we cannot make the quantity of ProCorks the market requests from us. We have backup machines in Australia and other prototypes available. I have been heartened by the calls with offers of help from other cork suppliers and wineries and some of these offers could lead to some very interesting new ventures. If this was 'the hand of god'...then it was designed to renew us and bring us back bigger, stronger and better.”

Contact: Dr Gregor Christie, CEO ProCork, ph +351 913029455,

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