Volume 41, Issue 12 - December 2006

Global Update

Guardian Industries Expands International Presence

Guardian Industries Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., will be building a new $200 million USD float and coated glass manufacturing facility in Ryazan, Russia, southeast of Moscow.

Plans call for a 750-ton per day float glass plant that includes an advanced glass coater. The Ryazan plant will target its production toward commercial and residential construction markets. 

Guardian is also investing in a new glass coater and expansion project at its Oroshaza, Hungary float glass plant. According to the company, the $37 million USD investment includes a new 38,000-square-foot building that will house the magnetron coater. The addition of the coater will enable the plant to produce ClimaGuard™ N and ClimaGuard™ Premium residential low-E products. The new coater, which is expected to begin production in the fall of 2007, will coat up to six million square meters of glass per year.

In addition, Guardian and its joint venture partners, National Company for Glass Industries Ltd. and Al Zamil Group, have reported that construction of a new float glass facility in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), United Arab Emirates, to be known as Guardian RAK, is progressing according to schedule. 

Production at the RAK plant is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2007. The RAK float glass plant will be the second one constructed in the region by these partners. GulfGuard, located in Al Jubail, was the region’s first float glassmaking facility, and has served markets in Saudi Arabia and surrounding Gulf countries since it began production in 1996. Upon completion of the Guardian RAK facility, the group plans to dedicate GulfGuard’s capacity to serving Saudi Arabian customers. With an initial investment of approximately $115 million USD, the company says Guardian RAK will produce 700 tons of glass per day, including high-performance coated glass, to be used in construction and automotive applications. 

Solutia Designs New Saflex Line at Belgian Plant
The Saflex® unit of Solutia Inc. announced it has begun the design and engineering of a new manufacturing line for its Saflex PVB interlayers at its plant in Ghent, Belgium. The company has targeted construction start up for the second half of 2008. 
This expansion will create the third Saflex production line at the plant. The new Ghent manufacturing line is being designed to produce 3.2-meter-wide rolls of Saflex PVB interlayers. These specific interlayers are used primarily to make laminated glass for the growing European architectural market.
The new line is being designed for construction within the current boundaries of the Saflex Ghent plant, leveraging existing infrastructure and the plant’s 40-plus years of experience in manufacturing Saflex products. “We are making significant investments across our Saflex business in order to meet the growing demands of our customers worldwide,” said Luc 
De Temmerman, president of Performance Products, Solutia Inc. “This project is a key part of our global growth strategy for the Saflex business, which also includes our recent acquisition of a plant in Puebla, Mexico, and the construction of our new plant in Suzhou, China.” 

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Donn Harter is the president of the Americas Glass Association based in Placerville, Calif.

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