AGC president Emmanuel Y. Go told reporters that new product offerings including Mistvue form part of its P1.8-billion expansion in 2006 to upgrade its float furnace in its Pasig plant and increase its capacity to 520 tons per day from 400 tons or a total furnace capacity of over 600 tons per day. Clear float glass accounts for 60 to 70 percent of its total sales, the rest are tinted glass.
In terms of volume, AGC aligns its growth to the country’s GDP of between 5 to 6 percent. Last year, the company produced 3 million cases of glass products.
Go said that growth this year would be largely driven by the good response to the new administration and its programs.
“We have a good reception of the government especially on its mass housing programs under the Public-Private Partnership and the promising economic growth of the country,” he said.
“We also believe the government is making headway in its efforts to rid smuggling activities,” he said noting that the industry is also actively working with the Department of Trade and Industry to stop the production of substandard glass products.
There are, however, concerns of the rising prices of imports of raw materials because of the high cost of fuel and the other domestic issues on overloading that may forced them to adjust prices again this year. AGC imports silica, the raw material in glass manufacturing, from Australia and the US.
For Mistvue, which is a unique hybrid of float glass and figured glass in quality and characteristics, the company is promoting this for various architectural uses including door and windows for exterior and partitions, furniture, shower enclosures for interior and for appliances. Only one side of Mistvue is patterned and the other side of the glass is smooth thus creating an obscure or misty effect on either side.
As a new high-value product, Mistvue is not going to grab market shares of other construction materials.
It will, however, be used as replacements for the still wooden jalousy-type windows, which are more expensive than glass.
With the government’s implementation of a total log ban policy, the launch of Mistvue is timely. It is exclusively produced in the Philippines including the R & D in collaboration with its headquarters in Japan AGC has invested some modifications on its production lines to come up with the patterned glass.
“This is part of our product diversification and this product is unique only in the Philippines,” Go said.
Aside from the local market, Go said, there could be strong potential for this product in temperate climate for its superior insulation properties from cold and in keeping the heat inside.
AGC is still testing the market with the product’s launch in February this year, but Go said the market reception has been good.
“We are optimistic, this would really sell,” said Go.
AGC has been in the Philippine glass industry for more than five decades. It manufactures and distributes architectural glass products such as float glass and figured glass for the construction, automotive and other industries.
Other products include mirrors, coated glass, fire-resistant glass, tempered glass, laminated glass, and double glazed glass.