North Carolina-based firm Stewart Engineers Inc. has signed an agreement with the Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC) to study and evaluate the construction of a new float glass manufacturing plant in Qatar.

The agreement was announced during the Qatari business delegation visit to Raleigh, N.C., to promote trade and investment opportunities between the U.S. and Qatar.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by QIMC chief executive Abdul Rahman al-Ansari and Andrew Stewart, CEO of Stewart Engineers.

Stewart Engineers is a family-owned firm based in Wake Forest, N.C. Its float glass technology can produce ultra-thin glass for electronics applications and ultra-thick glass for architectural applications, and has been exported to more than ten countries around the world including China, France, Italy and India.

If the technical and economic feasibility studies are successful, the project would see construction of a 50,000-square-meter facility in Qatar producing 600 tons of glass panels per day for use in buildings, cars and solar panels. The project is expected to create up to 250 jobs.

The facility, once constructed, would feature Stewart Engineers’ chemical vapor deposition (CVD) glass coatings technology. CVD coatings are sprayed on while the glass is being formed, creating a virtually indestructible bond and providing the glass panels with value-added UV protection, cooling and other benefits.

Stewart says Qatar’s natural resources, including natural gas and sand as well as the country’s strategic location and deep water, provide an excellent environment for manufacturing glass products.

“We are excited to expand to the Qatari market and were encouraged when we learned about the investment environment in Qatar,” says Stewart. “Our plan is for the factory to be the most technically advanced in the world.”

President of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, Ambassador Anne Patterson, welcomes the agreement and says it highlights the diverse opportunities available to U.S. companies to partner with Qatar.

“The strategic partnership between the Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company and Stewart Engineers is the first of its kind and provides an important export opportunity as well as allowing Qatar to develop and diversify its economy,” she says. “There are significant opportunities for U.S. companies to bid for similar projects in construction, technology and infrastructure, particularly in the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.”

The Qatar-U.S. Economic Forum is a nation-wide, year-long series in 2018 of business and trade events. It follows the successful United States-Qatar Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, D.C., in January 2018, which established a shared vision for Qatar and U.S. relations and trade with events also held in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.