News on Glass & Refractory World, week# 17

° Asahi Glass To Build 1st S American Plant In Brazil; Asahi Glass Co. (5201) said Monday it will take a step into the Brazilian markets for construction and automotive glass with a roughly 40 billion yen production base in the state of Sao Paulo.
The factory complex (its first in South America) is scheduled to open in 2013 and expand in stages until 2016.

° BHEL to add capacity for glass insulators; The Ceramic Business Unit of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, which has manufacturing plants in both Bangalore and Jagadeeshpur in Uttar Pradesh is also setting up a plant to manufacture glass insulators for transmission lines.

° HNGIL to invest Rs 5,000cr in 5yrs to hike production capacity; Hindusthan National Glass Industries Ltd today said it plans to invest up to Rs 5,000 crore in the next five years to set up new facilities and expand existing capacity.
The firm, which had a total production capacity of 9.40 lakh tonnes in the last fiscal expects it to go up to 12 lakh tonnes in 2011-12.

° JAPAN – Resumption of Production at AGC Asahi Glass Kashima Plant; Kazuhiko Ishimura, president and chief executive officer of Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. (AGC), provided an update on the resumption of production at AGC Asahi Glass Kashima Plant, which was severely affected by the earthquake in eastern Japan. Ishimura noted that restoration of the float glass facility for architectural flat glass has been completed, and suspended production/shipments have resumed.

° Pittsburgh Glass Works to add NC plant; PGW said it will establish a new manufacturing facility in Elkin, N.C., that will employ more than 260. Hiring is expected to begin in 2012. The new plant will produce automotive glass products for OEM and aftermarket organizations within the automotive industry, due to continued surging demand for automotive glass parts.

° Taiwan Glass to Harvest from Low-E Glass Investment in 2011; Taiwan’s largest manufacturer of high-tier glass, will gradually enjoy harvests from investing in low-E glass in Changhua Coastal Industrial Park of central Taiwan, and Chengdu of Sichuan Province and Tianjin Municipality of China.

° Magnesita Awarded Contract for Gerdau Ameristeel’s Sayreville, New Jersey Facility; Magnesita Refratários S.A. announced that Gerdau Ameristeel, a leading producer of long steels in the Americas and one of the major suppliers of specialty long steel in the world, has awarded Magnesita a contract to manage all refractory needs for Gerdau’s Sayreville, New Jersey Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Rebar Operations steel mill.

° Tata Steel Sells Majority Stake in Refractory Unit; Tata Steel Thursday said it would sell 51 percent stake of its refractory unit (Tata Refractories Ltd) to Japanese firm Krosaki Harima Corporation. The transaction is based on an equity valuation of TRL at approximately Rs.1,130 crore and is subject to approval of relevant regulatory authorities in India and Japan.

News on Glass & Refractory World, week# 11 to 16 part two

° RAMGARH: Indo-Asahi Glass (IAG), one of the oldest glass manufacturing factory of the country at Bhadani Nagar of Ramgarh district, stopped production by cooling down its unit on Friday. This is the second time when the company was closed and workers were retrenched.

° Longhorn Glass Inc. will be back in full production after completing a $40 million upgrade and expansion to its Houston bottle manufacturing facility. The company’s main customer is the Houston brewery of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch.

° Nampak Wiegand Glass is to invest almost R500 million in rebuilding and expanding one of its furnaces at its glass bottle manufacturing facility at Roodekop, Alberton.
Furnace 2 which is nearing the end of its useful life will be rebuilt at a larger capacity and at the same time improved bottle-forming equipment will be installed. Commissioning is planned for the first quarter of 2012.

° Corning Incorporated said on April 8 that the company plans to maintain production levels at its Shizuoka and Sakai City LCD glass facilities during Sharp Corporation’s temporary production curtailment of LCD panels.

° Magnesita, which produces raw material for steel industry, signed a deal to supply refractory to Thyssen’s factories, the largest stainless steel producer in Europe.
The company will sell 70% of the Thyssen use of magnesite refractory to Bruckhausen factory. In Beeckerweth plant, Magnesita will supply 60% of refractories. And at HKM, Duisburg, 50%. The three units are near Dusseldorf, Germany.

° Magnesita Refratarios SA based in Brazil, the largest refractory products maker in Latin America, is expected to follow the international upward price trend and increase its prices in Latin American market.

° Martin Schlaff plans to get rid of his stake in technology and fireproof products manufacturer RHI AG, according to reports. Business magazine Trend claims today (Mon) that the Austrian billionaire wants to sell his interest to Brazilian Magnesita Refractories SA (Magnesita), one of RHI’s main rivals. Schlaff, who started investing in RHI four years ago, currently holds more than 25 per cent of stocks in the firm.

° Following recent installations of DSF Frimax 7 Spinel in oxy–fuel and conventional glass melting furnaces DSF Technical Manager Chris Windle is presenting a paper entitled “Spinel Refractories for Oxy-Fuel and Solar Glass Melters” at the Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Glass (ICG) in Shenzhen China.

News on Glass & Refractory World, week# 11 to 16 part one

° Chongqing Polycomp International Corporation (CPIC), a subsidiary of Yunnan Yuntianhua, fully acquired Brazil’s Capivari Glass Fiber for $59.5 million, reports Securities Times, citing a company filing. Capivari Glass Fiber was formerly a subsidiary of the world’s largest maker of glass fiber, Owens Corning. The deal is pending the approval of both the Chinese and Brazilian governments.

° Owens Corning, the leading global producer of glass fiber reinforcements, on March 9 held the official opening ceremony of its new production facility in the Yuhang Economic and Development Zone, Hangzhou, China.

° Owens Corning on March 22 announced today that it is investing in the construction of a new furnace to expand production capacity at its Tlaxcala, Mexico, glass reinforcements facility.

° AGC: impacts of earthquake on glass activities
A detailed announcement done:

° Seeing the promising business opportunities generated from China energy-saving market, Taiwan Glass Group will invest US$138 million to establish an energy-saving glass plant in Wuhan of Hubei province, China.

° Vidrios Lirquen, the NSG Group’s float glass joint venture in Chile resumes production after February 2010 Chile earthquake and reaffirms its commitment to the Chilean market.
The float tank in the Concepción region of Chile has resumed production just over 12 months after being put out of action.

° Taiwan Glass Industrial Corp’s board of directors approved a plan to invest NT$3 billion in a new super-thin glass production line to meet market demand, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

° MUMBAI: Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits (USL) will invest around Rs 600 crore to set up glass manufacturing plants

° Vitro SAB, the Mexican glassmaker that defaulted on $1.2 billion of bonds, will seek a buyer for its U.S. business if a Texas bankruptcy judge orders the units into Chapter 11.

News on Glass & Refractory World, week# 10

° RHI AG announced preliminary 2010 results pointing to over 23% increase in revenues (EBIT up almost 130%) vs. 2009, but still under ante-crysys figures. Results made possible thanks to an overall worldwide steel recovery of 15% with EU and USA over-performing. Cement and Glass still with subdued investments, except in China and Brazil.

° Pittsburgh Glass Works to reopen Evart plant; the plant was shut down two years ago and will begin restocking and rehiring later this month in preparation for a summer return to full manufacturing capacity. This is the result of increased demand for automotive glass products and will re-employ between 50 and 60 workers once fully operational.

° Financially troubled Zimglass fails to re-open; the company closed shop in August last year, resulting in about 472 workers placed on compulsory leave while they receive an allowance. The management had said they were closing shop to allow for the re-building of the only remaining furnace that was operational at the company. Now the company say financial problems had hindered them from re-building furnaces. Plans have been moved to next July for a possible revamping date.

° Ancai Hi-tech to Invest 460M Yuan In PV Glass Project. Henan Ancai Hi-Tech returned to profit in 2010, generating net profits of 32.61 million yuan, reports, citing a company filing. Color tube facilities in its colored glass factory ceased production, and related assets will be liquidated.

° German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp has announced that Kazakhstan’s first silicon metal plant Silicium Kazakhstan LLP has recently been commissioned in the province of Karaganda. Initially, the plant will produce silicon metal with one 12,500 metric ton furnace for customers mainly in Europe, Asia and the USA. A second furnace with the same capacity, already installed, is scheduled for startup in May 2011.

News on Glass & Refractory World, week# 08

° Jushi USA / Gibson Fiberglass announced to have developed ViPro™, a high strength, high modules fiber for reinforcement for composite applications with improved corrosion resistance and physical properties; this product will be fully marketed by end of Q1-2011 and is manufactured by Jushi Fiberglass, Tongxiang Economic Development Zone, Zhejiang, PRC. With three production bases in Tongxiang, Jiujiang, and Chengdu, they have a capacity for 900,000 TPY of fiberglass.

° Guardian Industries Corp. following extensive analysis and strategic planning announces plans to build a float glass manufacturing plant in Krasny Sulin (Rostov region), Russia, with 900 TPD capacity and downstream treatment facilities. The plant is expected to begin operations in mid 2012.

° Saint-Gobain SEFPRO has announced the forthcoming opening of its new manufacturing facility for sintered refractories at its existing production site, SEPR India, in Palakkad. The product range will include sillimanite, andalusite, mullite, high alumina, bonded AZS and zircon for the glass industry and will be made under Savoie Refractaires standards.

° Owens Corning announced that will sell its glass fiber reinforcements plant in Capivari, Brazil to China’s Chongqing Polycomp International Corp. Terms were not disclosed, but the sale is expected to close in Q2-2011. This will not affect OC’s ownership of its fiber reinforcements and fabrics facilities in Rio Claro, Brazil.

° Saudi Advanced Industries Company (SAIC) announced that has begun the float glass operation at its subsidiary Obeikan Glass Company. The plant is located at Yanbu el Bahr, Saudi Arabia, some 350 km north of Jeddah. When fully operational, the plant will produce 800 TPD, under Fives Stein technology.

° Resco of Pittsburgh, PN, on Jan. 20, has announced 2011 products prices increases from 5-15%, up to 20-25% for some specific item, mostly due to raw materials (bauxite, magnesite, graphite, dolomite, etc) price inflation but also freight and labor costs, not anymore absorbable through cost savings. Increases will become effective on March 1st.

News on Glass & Refractory World: week# 07

° Corning predicts for 2011 increased demand for special glass installed in tablet computers and smartphones, which employ scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for touch screen devices. This will also drive increased utilization of platinum components used in these glasses specialties production.

° Cabot Corporation/US and China National Bluestar (Group) Corporation have initiated expansion of fumed silica production capacity Jiangxi Province, PRC. It will be a USD 43 million investment at Cabot Bluestar Chemical (Jiangxi) Co. Ltd. First phase will increase capacity from 5000 to 20000 TPY, second phase is aimed to a final 20000 TPY capacity.

° Guangdong Orient Zirconic Ind. Sci. and Tech. and DCM DECO Metal (DCM) won the approval of Australia authorities to jointly acquire Australia Zircon NL; in May 2010, the Chinese company announced it would invest 40 million Australian dollars to set up the joint venture with DCM, giving itself a 51-percent stake in the scheme to acquire all of Australia Zircon NL’s assets. This is a significant move to control Australian zircon sources, made by Chinese entities.