Archive for float glass
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You are browsing the archives of float glass.
• 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.”
• Asahi Glass posted a 5 percent decrease in sales for H1 2012, down by ¥30.4 billion as a result of the fragile global economy. It said the global economic environment for first six months of the year was characterised by a gradual recovery, but the pace of economic recovery decelerated.
• Bennu Glass, based in Kalama, Washington, US, has opened for business and made its first production-quality wine bottles. Bennu, which plans to produce 100 million bottles a year, is owned by New York-based financial firm Medley Capital, which invested approximately $30 million in the $109 million Cameron plant.
• Despite an environment strongly characterized by uncertainty, RHI AG realized the second highest quarterly revenues in the group’s history, which were only €2.0 million below the record level of the fourth quarter of 2011.
• Japan’s Nippon Sheet Glass announced this month it is to cut a further 90 jobs at two Pilkington factories in the Northwest of England. The factories affected are at Ormskirk and St. Helens. The St. Helens factory shed 150 jobs in February. NSG say they will shed 3,500 jobs worldwide by March 2013. The once giant Pilkington Group was taken over by NSG in 2006.
• Magnesita Refratarios SA, the world’s No. 3 producer of fireproof material for steel mills, saw second-quarter net income surge 30 percent from the prior three months after revenue rose faster than costs and a timid steelmaking recovery helped boost demand for some refractory products, the company said in a securities filing on Thursday. On a year-on-year basis, profit jumped 19 percent.
• Carborundum Universal, Murugappa Group, reported a 30.8 percent decline in net profit at Rs 38.42 crore for the quarter ending June 30, 2012. The total income from operations in the reported quarter rose to Rs 503.08 crore from Rs 473.72 crore registered during the same period last year, but margins came under pressure owing to rising input costs, strong dollar and a challenging customer market.
Sorry for this wave of sad news!:
• Corning Inc.’s Q2 2012 profit fell by 39 percent as a result of the fragile economy in Europe and China. The company blamed weak consumer demand for its television screen glass for the fall in profit. Net income fell to $462 million from $755 million, a year earlier, the Corning, New York-based company said.
• Owens-Illinois could again be forced to shrink its Australia operations, leading to potential job losses. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the US manufacturing giant cites a sluggish local beer and wine market and protracted major customer and union contracts for the uncertainty hanging over its business.
• Saint-Gobain is to step up its cost cutting program in a bid to address the deteriorating economic climate, with its Flat Glass division a target. Flat Glass sales fell 6.5 percent on a like for like basis during H1 due to a contraction in automotive production in Western Europe, the collapse of the solar market, a fall in prices (especially float glass) and a rise in raw material and energy costs. As a result, the operating margin for the division narrowed to 2.1 percent of sales from 9.5 percent in first-half 2011. The company said it will step up the cost saving programme, which started in Q2, in H2 after saving €170 million in Western Europe and Asia in H1. For the year as a whole it expects to save €500 million. So far it has stopped four floats in Europe (in Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany) and three floats in Asia (one in China and two in South Korea) as well as a patterned glass line in China. In total, float-line capacity has been reduced by 19 percent in Europe and by 21 percent outside of Europe. The measures for the rest of the year will be primarily focused on Europe. It will also put any acquisition projects on hold for the rest of the year.
• More jobs will go at glassmaker Pilkington as the global economic crisis takes its toll on sales. Parent company Nippon Sheet Glass saw quarterly sales fall 3 percent to £1.08 billion and said market conditions were “significantly worse than previously anticipated.” NSG said 90 managers and staff had left in March and April this year, and another 90 would leave by next March from sites in St Helens and Lathom, Ormskirk, UK. Overall, the group wants to shed 3,500 jobs worldwide by March 2014.
• Earnings at Xinyi Glass Holdings came crashing down in the first half as the company posted a 43.4 percent drop in net profit. The firm yesterday blamed economic uncertainty for falling retail prices of float glass and solar glass—its two primary products—both in China and abroad.
• Dubai Investments may opt to issue a sukuk, or Islamic bonds, to finance the expansion of the second production line at its Emirates Float Glass Factory in Abu Dhabi. The second phase of the facility, to be the largest in the UAE upon completion, will add another 600 tons a day of capacity, bringing the total to 1,200 tons per day.
• Companhia de Alumina do Para’s board of directors has decided to postpone the construction of a new alumina refinery in Barcarena, Brazil. The main reasons for the postponement are the uncertainty related to short- and medium-term aluminum supply/demand balance and the development in the world economy. Companhia de Alumina do Para is owned by Hydro (81 %) and Dubal (19 %).
• Bosai Minerals Group Guyana Inc. announced that it will be investing some $100 million to expand its operations at Linden, Guyana, creating more than 500 jobs in the process while moving closer to resolving dust pollution issues from its operation. They’re looking to introduce a third kiln and to produce two new products, proppants and mullites.
• With an increase in world demand for aluminum at an average of 6 percent annually, the demand from the Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to grow and will drive the Gulf producers to expand their production capacity even further. The world demand for aluminum is estimated to reach over 70 million tons by the year 2020 from 40 million tons a year currently; almost 80 percent of the aluminum produced in the Gulf is exported to different parts of the world.
A lot of attention is paid to making photovoltaic modules more cost-effective by reducing the costs associated with the active materials, and, indeed silicon prices seem to be dropping (with estimates of somewhere between 5 and 7 percent for the first quarter of 2011, after similar drops in 4Q 2010) despite double-digit growth in the polysilicon applications market.
But don’t forget about the non-active materials side of PV units, which comprise about one-third of a crystalline silicon PV module’s cost. A new report from Lux Research suggests that there are substantial and new opportunities for suppliers and module manufacturers to tinker with some of the key non-active components of crystalline silicon PV modules.
Of particular interest to readers of this blog are two glass-rleated opportunities that Lux spotlights: glass frontsheets for PV modules and antireflective coatings for these frontsheets.
Lux analyst and lead author of the report, Jason Eckstein, expects that float glass will replace rolled, textured glass as the material of choice for PV units. He says float glass makers are now offering tempered low-iron glasses that come closer to matching what had been the superior transmittance levels of rolled glass. The cheaper manufacturing costs of float glass will make the transition all but certain. According to Eckstein, SolarWorld (production facilities in Germany, Sweden and the United States) has already begun using float glass.
Eckstein also predicts that glass with antireflective coatings will also become standard on frontsheets in both crystalline silicon and thin-film modules. The benefits of minimizing reflectance is fairly obvious, and Eckstein says that AR coatings are available for less than $4 per square meter. The boost in module efficiency (about 3 to 6 percent, depending on coating and geographical location) from the coatings easily justifies the added cost.
Lux’s report is titled, “Critical to Quality: Illuminating Drivers for Change in Solar Non-Active Materials.”