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November 13th, 2012

News from the glass and refractory ceramics worlds

Published on November 13th, 2012 | By: P. Carlo Ratto

Asahi Glass Co. has decided to shut down AGC Glass North America’s Kingsport Plant in Tennessee in order to improve the profitability of its photovoltaic cover glass operations. This plant closure will cut down more than 30 percent of the group’s manufacturing capacity for PV cover glass.

• RHI, a world market leader in refractories, has built one of the largest fusion plants for magnesia raw materials for more than €75 million in Norway. In this fusion plant, magnesia obtained from sea water is converted to fused magnesia; with a capacity of approximately 85,000 tons per year, the plant is one of the largest worldwide.

• Grob Glass reports massive drop in orders and is therefore forced to close its operative business by end of September 2012, since an ordinary business cannot be maintained under these circumstances. The company, specialised in the construction of glass furnaces and dismantling of existing lines, had been founded in 1982 by Alfred Grob.

• On Oct. 31, 2012, Verallia inaugurated its third furnace in Mendoza’s plant in Argentina. This is the most important industrial investment made in 2012 by a private company. This third furnace, mainly dedicated to the production of still and sparkling wine bottles, required an investment of $70 million. Its construction began in March 2011 and was completed during the second quarter of this year.

• The NSG Group is to close architectural float lines at plants in Sweden and Italy. It will close a float line in Halmstad, Sweden, by the end of March 2013. It will also close a float line in Porto Marghera, Venice, Italy; that furnace is currently in a state of hot-hold, and will shut down in January 2013.

• The Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade will grant a $220 million credit to Fanavid SA to build a glass factory in Cuba, Hipolito Rocha announced.

Cookson Group plans to split into two new listed companies on Dec. 19, 2012, with the current Chairman Jeff Harris, and CEO Nick Salmon, retiring at the same time. Following a strategic review, the board of Cookson has decided to split its businesses into two separate listed companies in what it is calling a “demerger.” Its Performance Material division will form a specialty chemicals company called Alent, while the Cookson Group, consisting principally its Engineered Ceramics division, will be renamed Vesuvius.


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