NSG/Pilkington Purchases New Machinery, Adds Solar in the UK

NSG Group and its subsidiary, Pilkington United Kingdom Ltd, have made recent improvements, including increasing capacity and adding solar power at separate facilities in the United Kingdom.

Pilkington has invested more than $3.7 million USD (£3 million) in new technology to increase its capacity to manufacture Pilkington Planar, and meet growing market demand for its structural glazing system.

The glass manufacturer has invested in a new tempering furnace, an increased capability heat soak oven and a glass measuring device. Each will be used as part of the manufacturing process for its Pilkington Planar structural glazing system and associated products.

The new tempering furnace, due to be operational by August 2019, will be
located at the Pilkington Architectural site in St. Helens, UK. It’s expected to
help the company manufacture increased volumes of the Pilkington Planar System.

The investment also increases the size capability of the tempering furnace and heat soak oven to 236 by 118 inches (6000 by 3000 mm). The newly developed glass measuring device will enhance the manufacturer’s quality control systems and processes for the benefit of customer and end-clients, according to the company.

Meanwhile, NSG Group and Lightsource BP officially opened a new 2.29MWp solar installation on July 4, 2019. The project, which is fully funded by Lightsource BP, is hard-wired into the private electricity network of NSG Group’s European Technical Centre in Lathom, UK. It is anticipated to provide around 30% of the site’s annual electricity demand and reduce carbon emissions by 848 tons per year.

The installation showcases solar modules from First Solar, one of NSG Group’s largest global customers. The glass within the solar modules was manufactured by NSG Group and the research and development for the glass was conducted at the European Technical Centre itself.

“This is a fantastic investment that demonstrates our commitment to green power. The announcement is important to the company, our drive to improve our sustainability credentials, and will be crucial to meeting our carbon reduction targets,” says Mike Greenall, chief technology officer at NSG Group.

“We are committed to offering NSG Group a stable, reliable source of renewable energy, allowing them to reduce their carbon footprint as well as their energy bills,” adds Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource BP. “We firmly believe that the future of energy must be clean and sustainable, and we are proud to be helping businesses move toward those goals.”

Şişecam Flat Glass Holds Furnace Firing Ceremony

The Şişecam Group invested T $47.1 million USD (EUR 42 million) into a furnace at its flat glass plant in Targovishte, Bulgaria, that was fired up during a ceremony held on July 2, 2019. The company has invested a total of $673 million USD (EUR 600 million) in its facility in Bulgaria.

Şişecam Group vice chairman and CEO Ahmet Kirman hosted the ceremony attended by the Bulgaria minister of economy Emil Karanikolov, Member of Parliament Venka Stoyanova, Targovishte Governor Mitko Staikov and Targovishte Mayor Dr. Darin Dimitrov.

During a speech given in front of more than 300 attendees, including Sisecam Flat Glass Europe customers, architects, sector professionals and company-wide employees, Kirman said, “We are a group on an international scale with our 22,000 employees, production activities spreading across 13 countries in three continents and sales to over 150 countries. With our new soda investment in the U.$., we will increase the number of countries of operation to 14.

The company made its first investment in Bulgaria under the name Şişecam Chemicals in 1997. “During the privatization, the group became the shareholder of the Bulgarian soda producer with the Belgian Solvay, and continued its investments in Bulgaria by increasing its shareholding interest to 25% in the company in the following years. We took our first step for the Greenfield, (i.e. new investments) in Bulgaria in 2004,” said Kirman. “Our group laid the foundation for the flat glass, automotive glass and glassware production facilities in 2004. With this investment, we were bestowed with the title of the ‘Largest Greenfield Investor in Bulgaria.’ After the glassware plant commenced production in 2005, our group commissioned the first float line in flat glass followed by the mirror, laminated glass and tempered glass lines in 2006, and put the automotive glass plant into operation in 2010. In 2013, the energy-saving coated glass production started.”

The company will continue its investments in modernization and capacity increases among its Bulgarian manufacturing facilities, Kirman said.

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