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August 27th, 2012

News from the glass and refractory worlds

Published on August 27th, 2012 | By: Eileen De Guire

• A new £5.4 million white flint furnace is now fully operational at glass manufacturer, Beatson Clark, UK. The furnace has a capacity of 200 tons per day and gives the plant in Rotherham the same size melting area of 70.6 square meters as the previous furnace. However, an improved design will mean greater efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, in line with new government targets.

• Ardagh Group ended manufacturing in Ireland in 2002, when it closed the Irish Glass Bottle plant at Ringsend, the site of which was later sold for €412 million in what turned out to be one of the property boom’s most notorious deals. Earlier this year, chief executive Paul Coulson and his colleague, chief financial officer Niall Wall, said the group is considering building a new glass manufacturing plant in the Republic. In other news, Ardagh says it has received US regulatory approval and completed the acquisition of Anchor Glass Container Corporation from private investment funds managed by Wayzata Investment Partners LLC in a deal costing $880 million.

• Owens-Illinois is to close a furnace and cut 50 jobs at its Adelaide, Australia plant. One of the three furnaces at the plant will be decommissioned on Oct. 3, 2012. O-I said the plant had been impacted by an increase in bulk-wine exports, the high Australian dollar and deteriorating market conditions.

• Vietnam float glass industry is under great pressure from foreign commodities; some of the Vietnam glass factories had to reduce their production due to overstock. The building market is still in depression, while the processed glass is still imported into Vietnam, especially from China.

• Tses Glass Ltd., the premier glass manufacturing company in Namibia, has appointed South Africa-based IBP Construction Consultants (Johannesburg) Ltd. as the technical engineers for conducting the feasibility study of its planned glass manufacturing plant, Tses Glass, in Tses, Southern Namibia. Tses Glass is planning to have all four separate manufacturing plants in a single location, to produce 7 million net ton of flat glass, 7 million net ton of container glass, 1 million net ton of fiber glass, and 5 million net ton of ultrathin glass; for a gross annual total of 20 million net ton capacity, making it the largest dynamic glass manufacturing plant in the world.

• The private sector in Iran plans to establish a consortium to build seven large steel plants in the country, the vice-chairman of the Association of Iranian Steel Producers stated. Hamidreza Taherizadeh told the Fars News Agency that if Iran’s Central Bank provides investors with more facilities, the private sector will be encouraged to participate in economic plans.

The crisis in Europe continued to hammer Tata Steel in the quarter ended in June, for which it reported a steep fall in profits. Tata Steel, India’s largest and Europe’s second-largest steel producer, reported $108 million in consolidated net profits, down 89 per cent from $966 million during the same period last year.

• Australian mineral sands producer Iluka Resources Ltd.’s first-half net profit nearly doubled as higher prices offset a 35 percent fall in total sales volumes, the company said Thursday. The company announced it will, however, lower its zircon output volumes further and reduce capital expenditure this year due to weak global demand for mineral sands.”


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