Pilkington North America plans to reopen its Ottawa, Ill., plant in December, nearly ten months after it was damaged by an EF-3 tornado.
“The Pilkington North America Ottawa plant is in the final stages of repairing the damages caused by the February 2017 tornado, a project which included replacing the damaged roof and walls, significant investments in equipment and other work,” says Richard Altman, regional director of architectural glass in North America. “Because of the extended downtime, a full furnace rebuild was deemed necessary. Once all repairs are finished, it is projected the plant will restore production in December. A real positive for all stakeholders is that we have been able to keep our employees working throughout the process.”
The Illinois facility houses one of Pilkington’s five U.S. float lines and employs 200 people. It manufacturers float and coated glass products for the architectural market, and specialty glass for various market applications.
The Naplate-Ottawa tornado killed two people and left at least 14 others injured on February 28, 2017, according to NBC Chicago.
“Regarding safety, none of the 40 employees on site suffered so much as a scratch when the plant was struck by the tornado earlier this year. This was all due to our workforce preparation and following the company’s emergency safety procedures,” says Altman.