Saint-Gobain Glass is carrying out a major construction programme to completely re-build and install a new float glass furnace, as well as upgrade other areas of the factory.
The project represents the French company’s largest industrial investment in the UK since the Eggborough plant was built in 2000.
The installation of the enlarged capacity furnace, due to be completed by late summer, will replace the existing furnace that has reached the end of its design life. The new furnace will use less energy and so improve efficiency as well as production capacity.
Steve Severs, managing director at Saint-Gobain Glass, said: “This is a major milestone in the history of our business. It demonstrates our commitment to the long-term future of glass manufacturing in the UK and our confidence in the wider construction industry. The new facility is designed to manufacture high-performance products developed in the UK to meet the specific needs of the UK window industry.”
Site preparation works have been under way at Eggborough for several months to create a contractor village and make the site ready to receive the components and specialist equipment. The project requires 250 contractor personnel from 30 companies from the UK and across Europe who are working to dismantle the existing furnace and build and commission the new one.
The components for the new furnace are already on site and include more than 7,000 tonnes of specialist refractories – the building blocks used in the construction of the furnace. Many of these refractories are manufactured by another part of the Saint-Gobain building materials group.