• Glass tableware manufacturer Libbey plans to cut capacity and reduce staff within its North American business. The company said its realignment at its Shreveport, La., site would effect 200 jobs.

• This spring, the 11-year-old amber glass furnace at Gerresheimer Essen will be replaced by a new one. The facility has two furnaces, one for transparent and one for amber glass. The company forecasts a production downtime of six weeks.

Allied Glass has started work on the furnace repair of the G1 furnace at its Knottingley (West Yorkshire, UK) site. This is the first furnace to be developed by Allied’s own in-house Engineering Project Management team; the old furnace had been built in 1999. For this major repair the team has sourced premium Europe refractory materials and selected equipment from Sorg, ACSI, and STG.

Ardagh Group has developed an ultralightweight 275ml bottle for Beck’s and Beck’s Blue, reducing the original from 185 grams to 165 grams. The 11 percent weight reduction on 130 million bottles will save 2,642 tons of glass. The new lighter bottle also will mean 1,940 tons of CO2 are removed from the manufacturing process

• Iran’s president inaugurated the Middle East’s biggest float glass factory in the Central province of Yazd. The factory, located in Ardakan city, is the world’s third-largest float glass production complex and the world’s fourth-biggest glass production furnace, based on Iranian sources. The Ardakan Glass Factory has the capacity of producing 900 tons of different types of glasses per day.

Steklarna Hrastnik (Slovenia) is completing the construction of the new glass furnace, having utilized 660 ton of fireproof material. The project has entailed an investment of €7 million and is almost entirely the result of domestic know-how. The new furnace is expected to bring along energy efficiency, better quality of glass and an improved competitive position on the global market.

Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources will cut 200 jobs, halve production and idle operations to reduce costs in a low sales period after posting a 33 percent drop in full year profit to $363.2 million. Combined zircon, rutile and synthetic rutile sales volumes were down 52.9 percent at 488.9 thousand tons compared to 1,038.1 thousand tons in 2011.

• German “Quarzwerke” GmbH will acquire majority stake of “Kaolin” AD after the Bulgarian competition protection authority approved the sale of a 67.32 percent stake in the Bulgarian company held by “Alfa Finance Holding,” owned by Ivo Prokopiev.