Pilkington Australia: largest ever plant upgrade investment

In conjunction with the Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Minister Brumby, Pilkington (Australia) Limited, Australia“s largest glass manufacturer, announced a AUD 130 million investment in its Dande…

In conjunction with the Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Minister Brumby, Pilkington (Australia) Limited, Australia“s largest glass manufacturer, announced a AUD 130 million investment in its Dandenong plant on 21 November 2006. The upgrade is the largest in Pilkington“s 127-year history in Australia, and is well over double the investment of more traditional upgrades. It is also the largest ever investment by Pilkington in a plant upgrade. The multi-million dollar investment incorporates a state-of-the-art five beam chemical vapour deposition (CVD) coater that will allow for production of new, environmentally efficient glass products including energy saving glass for buildings, self-cleaning glass that virtually eliminates water use, and glass that will be used in solar energy production. With significant investment support pledged to the project by the Victorian Government, Pilkington Australia“s President, Laurie Kruger said, “Today“s announcement demonstrates a significant commitment to manufacturing in Victoria in the long-term. This important upgrade will lower unit production costs while supporting manufacturing jobs in Victoria. It will also contribute to the state and national economies and make Australia more competitive. The Victorian Government has a reputation for supporting high value-added manufacturing, and their support for this plant upgrade is consistent with their policies and objectives”. “The plant upgrade represents the next evolution of manufacturing in this state, transforming Pilkington in Victoria from a manufacturer of largely commodity products to a source of innovative value-added products through best practice applications that underpin the future of the Victorian glass industry,” Laurie Kruger said. He added, “High quality energy-efficient glass that will be produced at the plant can play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the use of coated glass in Victorian homes will significantly reduce household electricity and gas consumption each and every year, and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35% while saving consumers money. What“s more, the new plant itself will be more efficient in energy use. Glass products from the upgrade will also support future systems of renewable energy generation and other emerging high-tech environmental businesses and prospects in Victoria. From an international trade perspective, this investment will allow Pilkington to better differentiate our products and enhance our ability to penetrate export markets. Meanwhile production of high-technology coated products from Dandenong will reduce the reliance on imported glass products and make the Australian glass industry more internationally competitive”. Pilkington is also developing a Sustainability Covenant with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), making it the first manufacturer to commit to such an agreement. The Sustainability Covenant will be a voluntary agreement between EPA Victoria, Sustainability Victoria, the Australian Industry Group and Pilkington to work together to protect the environment and to contribute to a more sustainable Victoria.