Saint-Gobain Glass this week began work on £30m rebuild of its Eggborough manufacturing unit, including a new float glass furnace, which it says will secure the long-term supply of its glass products in the UK.

The project, said to be the biggest industrial investment in the UK by the group since the plant was opened in 2000, will increase production capacity and optimise manufacturing efficiency as well as enhancing its environmental and sustainability credentials with reduced energy use.

Managing director Steve Severs said: “This is a major milestone in the history of our business. It demonstrates our commitment to the long-term future of glass manufacturing in the UK and our confidence in the wider construction industry.  The new facility is designed to manufacture high-performance products developed in the UK to meet the specific needs of the UK window industry.

“The project has been several years in development and planning to ensure continuity of supply for our customers throughout the construction process. This has involved a high level of stock build-up in advance and imports of glass from our Saint-Gobain sister plants in Europe which will help to fulfil orders throughout the process. I am grateful for everyone’s support and commitment and look forward to the official opening later in the year.”

Before expected completion in late summer, the glass coating line and lamination line at the site are continuing to operate as normal to produce the Planitherm range of products.

Meanwhile, supply of the SKN and Xtreme solar controlled glasses as well as patterned glass, mirrored products, self-cleaning glass, tinted products, and lower-iron glass are also unaffected as these are already manufactured at the group’s plants across Europe.

Steve concluded: “Saint-Gobain has a long history of glass making, stretching back over 350 years.  We are very experienced in delivering these complex high-value engineering projects, supported by highly skilled in-house technical and engineering teams. And of course, strict measures are being deployed to ensure the works are delivered in a Covid-19 compliant way.”

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