The old furnace had been built in 1999 and had a repair in 2008.
After a twelve-month tendering process, the team has sourced premium European refractory materials for the build and selected technologies from Europe's leading equipment suppliers such as SORG, ACSI and STG.
A sealed doghouse and batch charger, a low-NOx combustion system, integrated waste gas oxygen control, a new PLC control system and new gas metering and control skids are some of the investments designed to give better process control for improved production performance. These changes deliver the Best Available Techniques for NOx reduction to meet limits outlined in the recently adopted Glass BREF.
In addition to incorporating these technologies, the new furnace has significantly improved insulation and a re-designed combustion space to provide better energy efficiency.
The furnace will feed five IS machines, including one fed by a colouring forehearth. This production line has already received a three million pound upgrade earlier in 2012, when the forehearth capacity was significantly increased and a new IS machine and inspection line were installed.The modern, highly energy efficient furnace is expected to start producing glass on the 20th of February.
Technical Director John Naughton said "Our project team had a brief of increasing melting capacity, improving process control, reducing energy consumption and meeting the latest environmental performance standards. By working with Europe's leading suppliers and investing in the best new technology we have been able to design a furnace and forehearth system that should meet all of these objectives and to enable Allied Glass to continue to grow and meet our customer's quality and production requirements into the future."