Volume 48, Issue 1 - January 2013

Guardian Begins Production at Russian Float Plant;
Purchases Land in Malaysia
The European Commission (EC) has approved AGC Glass Europe’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Germany-based Interpane. Guardian Industries plans a number of international expansions and growth this year. The company not only launched a new float glass plant in Russia late last year, it also announced a land-purchase agreement in Malaysia.

The initial ribbon pull marking the beginning of production at the company’s Krasny Sulin (Rostov region), Russia float glass manufacturing plant took place in December. The Rostov region plant will produce the company’s ClimaGuard residential and SunGuard commercial glass products.

The $220-million plant is Guardian’s largest to date, producing 900 tons of glass per day, and will include a technologically advanced glass coater, according to the company.

“Guardian is bullish on Russia given the excellent growth at our first plant in Ryazan and the customers we have in the country,” says Scott Thomsen, Guardian Global Glass Group president. “The timing is right for the region and for Guardian.”

In 2008, Guardian began production at its first Russian plant in Ryazan, serving the greater Moscow region. The new plant is located almost 600 miles from Moscow in the southern part of Russia along the Azov Sea.

Also in late 2012, Guardian signed a land purchase agreement in Malaysia. Guardian Industries Malaysia Sdn Bhd will purchase a 24-hectare (59.3-acre) patch of land in Mukim, Jasin, from the Malacca State Development Corp. (PKNM). The property, a palm oil plantation, is located near the Lipat Kajang industrial area.

“We’re grateful for the cooperation of the Malacca State Development Corporation,” says Thomsen. “This purchase is part of Guardian’s international growth plan. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with PKNM.”

Greg Poulson, Guardian regional vice president, Asia Pacific, adds that Southeast Asia is a region of great opportunity. “For example, Malacca is working to become a green technology city-state, and we believe Guardian can be an integral partner in this effort. It’s an exciting time for international business,” he says.

NSG to Place UK Float Line on “Hot Hold”
The NSG Group placed its float line in Cowley Hill, United Kingdom (UK) on “hot hold” January 3. The line is expected to remain on hold for three months.

“This action will allow the company to reduce stock levels and therefore working capital,” according to a company statement. “It will not impact [the UK market] significantly … as the company can continue to supply from stocks and from float line UK5 at Greengate.”

The announcement follows news in late 2012 that the company is closing float lines in Halmstad, Sweden, and Venice, Italy.

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