Gulf Glass Factory LLC has signed an EPC contract to build the first Glass Containers Project in Qatar with the Italian company Falorni Gianfranco Srl. Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC) owns 50% of Gulf Glass Factory. Mr. Abdul- Rahman Abdullah Al Ansari, Chairman of Gulf Glass Factory and CEO of QIMC and Mr. Riccardo Scarselli, CEO of Falorni Gianfranco Srl, signed the agreement.
The project specializes in the production of glass containers used in the packaging of water, soft drinks, dairy products and various foodstuffs as well as medicines and perfumes. The design capacity of the plant in the first phase will be 200 tons per day through one furnace. A second furnace will be built in the second phase of the project, which will raise the production capacity to about 450 tons per day. The total cost of the first phase of the project is estimated at QR 238 million and is expected to reach QR 300 million at the end of the second phase.
The project is based on melting raw sand and some other additives in a furnace with a temperature of about 1600°C. Natural gas is the main source of energy in this process. The raw sand and the other raw materials are converted into glass and is then formed in special molds before being cooled gradually then inspected to ensure quality and conformity to specifications. The project will be based on local sand available from the sand washing plant of QIMC. Tests were carried out on local sand to certify its good quality and suitability to produce high quality glass containers. In addition to sand, other natural materials and chemicals additives are used to improve the quality and properties of the glass and reduce the melting point of the sand, thus reducing production costs. Waste glass (cullet) can also be used if it becomes available in the future in Qatar.
The project will have a positive impact on the industrial sector in Qatar and will contribute to the development of the growing food & beverage sector which includes; mineral water, soft drinks, juices, dairy products, packaged foods (pickles, oils, sauces, jams, honey, etc.). The food industry is gaining special importance from the Government and is expected to be one of the most important components of the national economy in the near future.
The project will satisfy the local needs of glass containers, which are currently imported from outside sources at high costs, in addition to exporting a some of its products to neighbouring Arab markets, most importantly Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. These countries suffer from a severe shortage in the availability of glass containers since they do not have any glass containers produced locally, while their needs are very large given the size and importance of their food industries. It is expected that the project will have a good opportunity to compete in these countries as well as other world markets.