“We already operate two flat-glass production lines in Teplice, but due to rising global demand the positive experience we have had here, we have decided to expand production in the Czech Republic,“ explains Jean-François Heris, president of AGC Flat Glass Europe – Glaverbel. “By concentrating three production lines in one location, we will immediately gain several advantages with respect to efficiency as well as flexibility of production. This will also enable the company to use proven local suppliers."
According to Glaverbel, the abundance of experienced employees and knowledge of the market played a significant role in the decision to build the new production line. Another factor is the advantageous use of the existing infrastructure on the premises of Glaverbel Czech a.s. “The third float line is an acknowledgment of the role our company plays in Central and Eastern Europe, says Stepan Popovic, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Glaverbel Czech. “If there are investment funds, of course it is possible to build the line anywhere, but the decisive factor is the availability of quality people who can produce glass of the highest parameters. I reiterate that our greatest strength is our employees and I believe this was the decisive factor in the decision to locate this large investment at Glaverbel Czech."
In recent years, Glaverbel has already invested several billion Czech crowns in its plants in the Czech Republic, thus placing them at the forefront of technology. The new line will be able to produce not only clear glass, but also glass in several shades of green for special use in the automobile industry. The line’s capacity will reach up to 700 tonnes of glass per day. Construction works are planned to start at the end of this year and production will be launched at the beginning of 2008.
“The state of the economy can be expressed by various indicators. Among the most complex are the steps taken by firms like Asahi Glass that have branches around the world and have decided for massive expansion of production in the Czech Republic. This is evidence of the attractiveness of our investment environment, the quality of our people, and the extensive supplier base,” says Tomas Hruda, CEO of CzechInvest.
Glaverbel is the European branch of AGC (Asahi Glass Company) Flat Glass, the world’s largest producer of flat glass. The company is engaged in the production of raw glass (float glass, coated glass, translucent glass and large-dimension mirrors) and processed glass (glass and mirrors for use in the construction industry, interior equipment and decoration, transportation and other branches of industry).
Glaverbel manufactures its products throughout Europe, from Spain to Russia. Altogether, the company comprises 16 float-glass production plants and approximately 120 production units. Through its international network of agents, Glaverbel is represented around the world. Thanks to its policy of continual research, the company is the European leader in advanced glass technologies. Together with its sister company AGC Automotive Europe, which specializes in automotive glass, Glaverbel currently employs around 16,000 people. Sales totalled approximately EUR 2.1 billion in 2005.
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