In positive news for UK fenestration, Saint-Gobain has announced that their project to upgrade their float line facility at Eggborough is now complete. They have released an article on their website in the last few weeks reporting on the completion of the float line upgrades, alongside a video.

Here is what their statement says:

We’re back and better than ever. We finally completed the major re-build and installation of our new state-of-the-art float glass furnace at our Saint-Gobain Glass site in Eggborough, East Yorkshire.

The former furnace had reached the end of its design life and we needed to install one with an enlarged capacity to reduce energy usage and boost our manufacturing efficiency and production capacity.

We are pleased to announce that our Eggborough facility resumed production in August 2021. It’s a very proud moment for Saint-Gobain as this upgrade will provide greater automation and enhanced control systems, with the use of the very latest equipment and integrated digital technologies.

It is a major milestone in the history of our business as we plugged £30m into this project – the largest industrial investment in the UK by Saint-Gobain since the Eggborough plant was built in 2000.

The project has been several years in development and planning to ensure our customers received the same level of supply during the construction process. This involved stock build-up in advance and imports of glass from our Saint-Gobain sister plants in Europe which helped us to fulfil orders during the process.

The new facility is designed to manufacture high-performance products developed in the UK to meet the specific needs of the UK window industry. Better reliability, higher yield and a better product is the result of our upgrade. There has never been a greater need to protect the planet and invent a more sustainable future – the new design will result in a 20 per cent energy reduction.

Increased supply of sustainable carbon-saving glass to the UK is really important for future homes and buildings as they move to become more energy efficient.

Steven Severs, Managing Director at Saint-Gobain Glass, described his overriding emotion as “pride” upon completing this mammoth project safely, on time and on budget.

He said:

“It’s a major step forward in Saint-Gobain’s net-zero journey and delivering our global strategic purpose to Make the World a Better Home.”

In a year dominated by constant and crippling supply chain problems, this will come as welcome news. As we head into 2022 the UK fenestration sector will be hoping that glass shortages will be at least one of the products we don’t have to worry so much about.

This news comes alongside Guardian Glass also confirming that their own upgrades to their float line facility in Goole were due to be completed in October of this year. It means that two of the largest glass making facilities in the UK are back online after a period offline at perhaps one of the most precarious periods for UK fenestration in decades.

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