Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2002


Pilks & Interpane Open French Plant
Full-scale production at Pilkington and Interpane’s joint-venture French float plant, located at Freyming-Merlebach in Lorraine, is now underway. According to information from Pilkington, it built the float glass manufacturing and laminating plant using its latest float glass technology for the joint venture in less than 16 months.

The new plant, which will be operated by Pilkington on behalf of the joint venture, is expected to have a capacity of around 250,000 tons of glass a year. According to Pilkington, the glass will be distributed between it and Interpane. Pilkington’s corporate affairs manager Philip Webb says Pilkington will sell directly to the French market through existing sales operations, while Interpane will use its share in processing operations.

According to information from Pilkington, output from the French plant “will help to bridge a capacity gap expected in early 2002” when both it and its major competitors begin float plant cold repairs in Europe, which the company adds will reduce glass capacity in the region temporarily.

Guardian Announces Plans to Build Second Brazilian Float Plant
Guardian Industries Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., will soon enter the Brazilian market again by building its second float plant there. The new $120 million facility will be located in Balsa Nova in the state of Paraná. 

“This second major investment in Brazil, along with our current facilities, including our plants in the state of Rio de Janeiro and in Venezuela, and our distribution units in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, demonstrate our strong commitment to the growing and increasingly attractive markets for flat glass products in Latin America,” said Ralph J. Gerson, president and chief executive officer of Guardian International.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin early this year and production is expected to commence in June 2003. Guardian expects the plant to employ around 200 people.

“Guardian Industries has established a record growth, profitability and success in South America. We’ve done this by responding to both customer and community needs,” said Russ Ebeid, president of Guardian’s Glass Group. “Guardian’s goal in Brazil is to manufacture a full line of glass products and in turn support that country’s efforts to reduce imports and increase exports.”


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