If one of the investor groups steps forward, it will probably need to spend $4 million to $5 million to refurbish and restart three idled glass-producing furnaces, said receiver Margaret Good, president of turnaround consultant Meridian GroupTwo of those furnaces were pulled out of production and their tanks drained of molten glass this week by Good to limit financial hemorrhaging while a buyer is sought.A third furnace was idled by a leak that happened a few weeks after the plant was extensively damaged by flooding on Sept. 17.
"It's encouraging that somebody is looking at it," said Lou Brudnock, president of Local 134 of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union -- the largest of three local unions that together represented approximately 300 production workers.
The shutdown of the plant, which has operated in the Glenshaw section of Shaler for 109 years, was described as permanent in a plant-closing notice filed by the company with the state.
About 45 employees are expected to remain at the plant while Meridian focuses on selling inventory and collecting accounts receivable due the company.
Good was appointed receiver by Common Pleas Judge Robert Horgos on Nov. 5 at the behest of a major lender, PNC Financial Services Group. In appointing Good, Horgos also ousted former owner John Ghaznavi from control.
Good said she should know fairly soon if the plant can be sold. She said some customers who purchase the plant's glass containers -- including beer makers and liquor distillers -- have expressed interest in its continued operations.
"Obviously, the longer we go, the more likely it is that the customers will go to other places," she said.
"So we probably have a week or two for initial responses that look positive and seem to say the buyer wants to go forward."