Volume 42, Issue 4 - April 2007

Global Update
Crystal Window and Door Launches Taiwan Subsidiary

Crystal Window and Door Systems in Flushing, N.Y., opened a subsidiary in Taipei, Taiwan called Crystal Union Company, which will provide project design and installation services for curtainwall and architectural windows to the country’s construction and property management industries. 

“Having been born in Taiwan, I have always wanted to return and invest in my homeland. This new company will provide extremely high-quality, sophisticated services and products for the Taiwan construction industry and be an important contributor to the vibrant Taiwanese economy,” says Thomas Chen, Crystal’s founder and chief executive officer.

Crystal Union will provide project engineering and installation initially for both new construction and rehabilitation projects throughout Taiwan. Future plans call for a “full-service” expansion, to include manufacturing and shop fabrication of curtainwall systems and high-end windows. Plans also call for the company to grow beyond Taiwan and provide its services throughout East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Crystal Union has formed alliances with the Taiwan Technical Institute and the Ting Wall Co. Ting Wall is led by Dr. Raymond Ting, the designer of a proprietary curtainwall system, which the company says surpasses current systems in terms of water penetration, ease of assembly, indoor air quality and performance longevity. www.crystalwindows.com 

Chinese Companies to Construct Glass Facility in Turkmenistan
In January, the Turkmenistan Ministry of Construction and Industry of Construction Materials and the Capital-Lonqji Sci-Tech Co. Ltd. and SINOMASCH Cos., both in the People’s Republic of China, signed a contract for the turnkey construction of a new glass facility in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 

The project, which is expected to be complete by February 2009, carried a price tag of $67.38 million USD. Plans call for the Ashgabat facility to have an annual production capacity of 62.4 million square feet of glass measuring 4-mm thin, 85 million units of various glass containers and 3.2 million square feet of glass packets, including those with toned covering. 

Vitro Cristalglass Can Temper the Largest Sheets in Spain
Vitro Cristalglass, the European subsidiary of Monterrey, Mexico-based Vitro, celebrated the inauguration and start-up of its new furnace in the La Rozada facility, in Villadecanes, Leon, Spain, on February 7. The new furnace has the capacity to temper the largest dimension laminated glass lites in the Spanish Peninsula, according to the company.

In addition to the new tempering furnace, the third for the La Rozada facility, the facility underwent a total reorganization that the company says was designed to speed up processes and to provide efficient responses to customer needs. The facility is now able to temper and thermo-harden laminated glass lites measuring 19.6 by 10.8 feet, and in thicknesses of 6- and 19-mm. 

In addition, Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. secured a $750 million debt offering to refinance existing third-party debt at the Vitro holding company level and all of the third-party debt at its subsidiary Vitro Envases Norteamérica S.A. de C.V. (VENA). The offering will consist of bank and/or bond financing in at least two trenches and will be guaranteed by VENA and Viméxico S.A. de C.V. 

VENA also announced an offer to purchase for cash any and all of its outstanding 10.75 percent senior secured guaranteed notes due in 2011. The aggregate principal amount outstanding on the notes is $250 million. www.vitro.com

Edgetech I.G. Earns British-American Award
The British-American Chamber of Commerce Bilateral Achievement Award was awarded to Cambridge, Ohio-based Edgetech I.G. in the business growth category on December 1, 2006. The annual award recognizes the accomplishments of organizations that build transatlantic alliances and promote bilateral relationships. 

“We are very proud to be given this honor by the British-American Chamber of Commerce,” says Mike Hovan, president of Edgetech. “The U.K. constitutes the largest and most significant market for Edgetech outside of North America and we look forward to continued growth in this area.” 

Edgetech in the United Kingdom also received the Specialist of the Year and Energy Efficiency Initiative of the Year G06 awards last year. www.edgetechig.com 

Glaverbel Adds Czech Glass Facility
Belgium-based Glaverbel is building a third float line at its Retenice plant in Teplice, Czech Republic.

With a production capacity of 700 tons per day, this investment of approximately USD $126 million should meet increasing demand for glass, which the company expects to grow by 7-8 percent per year in central Europe over the next few years. 

The new float plant is expected to be operational by the beginning of 2008.

“By concentrating three float lines at a single site, we benefit from advantages of scale in terms of performance and flexibility of production,” says Jean-François Heris, president of AGC Flat Glass Europe – Glaverbel. “It also enables us to take advantage of the local factors already present, which will help to speed up the construction work and reduce the cost of the investment. These include know-how, human and material resources, a common language and a shared corporate culture.” www.glaverbel.com

Intertek Partners with IFC Certification 
The ETL SEMKO division of Intertek entered a partnership with IFC Certification Ltd., a certification body for building products and materials based in the United Kingdom. ETL SEMKO expects this partnership to allow manufacturers of many construction products to utilize Intertek as a single global resource for CE marking. It also says this partnership is designed to remove the logistical barriers associated with EU market entry, thereby saving building products manufacturers’ time and cost.  www.intertek-etlsemko.com

Sika Acquires Proxan Dichtstoffe GmbH
Sika AG, located in Baar, Switzerland, acquired the German company Proxan Dichtstoffe GmbH (PDG) for an undisclosed price. 

PDG manufactures sealants for the production of insulating glass and for construction joints. Sika says Proxan’s experience and products will enable it to supply a complete, coordinated system to the rapidly growing market of “bonded windows.” www.sika.com 

Glaston Combines Tamglass, Bavelloni Operations in Brazil
Glaston Technologies says it has improved efficiency in its Brazilian operations by merging the operations of Tamglass South America, which manufactures safety glass machines, and Z. Bavelloni South America, which manufactures pre-processing machines.As a result of the merger, and overlapping personnel positions, the number of administration employees will be reduced by six. The company says it will evaluate the savings generated by the merger over the next few months. Currently, 87 employees work in Brazil.  www.glaston.net 

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