Egypt's glass industry poised for stronger gains thanks to rising domestic demand and growing export opportunities, according to Sphinx Glass chief

Date: 18 June 2010
Source: Sphinx Glass
Speaking ahead of the upcoming Interbuild 2010 Expo, Sphinx Glass managing director Mohamed Khattab sees continued economic development in Egypt as one of the key drivers for demand of quality glass products in Egypt while growing export opportunities continue to rise from underserved emerging markets.

Sphinx Glass will be sharing its insights and outlook on the Egyptian glass industry at the upcoming Interbuild 2010 Egypt, the largest annual construction event of the Middle East & North Africa region. The event is being held on 17 - 21 June 2010, at the Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Center (CICC).

"We are seeing a major shift in the Egyptian glass processing sector as demand generation coming from the domestic market as well as neighboring emerging markets could see Egypt's glass processing capacity double over the coming 5 years," said Khattab. "Egypt's annual float glass production capacity already jumped from 140,000 tons to its current 340,000 tons, and is expected to grow to approximately 600,000 tons by year's end which is a clear indication of the industry's desire to ramp up manufacturing capabilities and establish itself as an international player."

Sphinx Glass began production of high quality float glass products in March 2010, and is already meeting domestic customer needs as well as exporting to customers in neighboring markets. Its 220,000 square meter state of the art facility already boasts a production output of 200,000 tons per annum and was designed to support 2 float lines, enabling it to double its production capacity in the future. Sphinx Glass uses the latest float glass technologies licensed from PPG Industries Inc., a global leader in high quality float glass technology, ensuring that its products are of superior quality and meet global standards in float glass. 

"Domestically, several key growth drivers have been identified and are helping to increase Egypt's production capabilities. These drivers include the adoption of new regulations and standards that ultimately drive demand for good quality glass products in Egypt. Environmental concerns and conservation efforts have also had a noticeable impact on the glass processing sector, as going 'green' has meant that building materials for construction must provide environmental benefits too. This underpins the green building movement we are witnessing around the world. Today good quality glass delivers energy saving capabilities through improved climate control that is having a positive impact on environmental conservation," added Khattab.

Egypt's per capita consumption today is hovering at around 3.2 kilograms, with demand mainly satisfied by 3 local float glass producers, around 20 mid to large-sized processors and another 50 or so smaller processors of varying processing abilities. A recent review of glass products demand in emerging markets across Africa clearly showed medium to long-term opportunities in many countries due to the low consumption rates of these nations relative to many developed European markets which have already reached maturity and are now witnessing negative growth. As a comparison, European glass consumption averaged 14.3 kilograms per capita in 2009 while Africa showed 4.2 kilograms per capita during the same year. 

"Fundamentally, glass has evolved as a primary building material for the construction industry and its adoption can be witnessed by the glimmering skylines of today's modern cities. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future as demand for 'high tech' processed glass continues to grow due to new building designs and architectural advancements which have lead to the modern structures we see today. It is very exciting for the glass industry at the moment and we expect it to remain so for quite some time to come," remarked Khattab.

600450 Egypt's glass industry poised for stronger gains thanks to rising domestic demand and growing export opportunities, according to Sphinx Glass chief

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