AGC Glass Europe today announced at an extraordinary meeting of the Athus Works Council that it intends to close the plant (in the South of Belgium) and to carry out mass redundancies. The Athus plant, specialising in production of laminated glass for the construction industry, is faced with prohibitive handicaps of competitiveness; the laminated glass production activities could be relocated to the float glass production plant in Moustier, in the centre of the country.
Owens-Illinois (O-I) has bought Bennu Glass container plant, based in Washington state, USA. Bennu’s plant, in Kalama, employs about 90 people and primarily makes wine bottles but also produces 22-ounce beer bottles. The Cameron family of Pennsylvania opened the Kalama plant in 2008, but the plant’s pioneering electric melter couldn’t reliably produce usable coloured glass, and the plant was closed in September 2009. Bennu Glass purchased the plant for $64.8 million at auction in March 2010 and spent $35 million to get the plant running again.
Russian container manufacturer United Glass Enterprises has invested RUS300 million ($5 million) in the reconstruction of its Luga plant furnace. The plant, in the St Petersburg region, has doubled its production capacity to four million bottles per month and serves the wine and champagne industries.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has accused Gallo Glass Co. of using hazardous waste in the manufacturing process for its wine bottles, but Gallo officials said the lawsuit has no merit. The complaint alleges that Gallo’s plant in Modesto illegally introduced dust containing lead, arsenic, cadmium and selenium into the manufacture of the bottles. According to the complaint, the dust is generated by equipment that captures pollutants that would otherwise be released into the air by the plant’s furnaces.