We are pleased to announce our plans to restart the G1 float line in Tennessee. This float line will be an important boost for our company as we seek to grow our glass business in North America,” said Mark Ishiko, president and CEO of AGC Glass Company North America.
The G1 production line will manufacture float glass for the architectural and automotive markets. Construction on the line will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
“We plan to service the growing demands of the North American automotive business, and grow our architectural business with higher quality clear and tinted float glass,” Ishiko said.
The company shut down the production line in 2008 and laid off about 250 people at the time.
On Monday, AGC said it hopes to offer the new jobs in Church Hill to employees who were recently laid off with the shutdown of the company’s K1 production line at the Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport. That plant produces glass for the solar industry, and business has been negatively impacted by a big influx of imports from China, according to AGC officials.
“Northeast Tennessee is an important region for our company and hopefully this restart (in Church Hill) will help lessen the effects from the K1 shutdown,” Ishiko said.
The Hawkins County Industrial Development Board and state officials are working with AGC to secure tax and other incentives to help with the Church Hill project.
Larry Elkins, chairman of the Hawkins County Industrial Development Board, said the board has been working with AGC for the last two years in hopes that it would restart the production line.
“On behalf of the board, we appreciate AGC’s support for our community. This is a reflection of the board’s continuing efforts to foster growth and expansion of existing industries in Hawkins County,” Elkins said.
AGC said it plans to install the latest environmental equipment as part of the rebuild and has applied for a construction permit from the state.
AGC Flat Glass, based in Alpharetta, Ga., is owned by Asahi Glass of Japan.