"GroGlass" thin film glass coating factory launches operations

Date: 22 May 2008
Source: SIA GroGlass
SIA GroGlass opens a unique hi-tech factory at Katlakalna Street 4B in Riga today, May 19, 2008. The factory will manufacture large area optical vacuum coatings on glass substrate.

The investment for the factory and equipment amounts to LVL 20 million overall. Because of major demand in the greenhouse market in the Netherlands, the worldwide demand for Solar Panels and a steady worldwide demand for high-end picture framing glass, the company forecasts turnover of LVL 10 million in year 2009.

Alexander Kelberg, SIA GroGlass Chairman of the Board: “Our glass coating factory is illustrious example successful co-operation between science and business in Latvia. We have established a manufacturing process designed and implemented by Latvian company Sidrabe and co-operate tightly with Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia. This enables us to deliver innovative products with a high level of added value for exports.”

The SIA GroGlass factory has the capacity to handle approximately 1.5 million m2 of glass a year. The factory is already test-producing greenhouse glass with anti-reflective coating. The unique vacuum coating technology reduces light reflection from glass and makes it possible to increase the transmittance of photosynthetic active radiation by 8% while at the same time reducing the greenhouse heat gain by 5% due to a strong infra-red block. Such glass is particularly advantageous in greenhouses, because improved throughput of light can increase vegetable yields by an average of 8%. The blocking of infrared radiation optimizes heating systems, helps to save energy and prevents greenhouses from overheating. The coated greenhouse glass is exported to the Netherlands and other countries in which there is intensive and highly developed horticulture.

The installed technologies can produce not just greenhouse glass, but also other types of glass. SIA GroGlass is conducting research and development projects that include high-transmitting cover glass for Solar Panels, Anti-reflective and UV-blocking coatings for picture framing glass and store display windows. Other potential products include heat insulating glass, display glass for widescreen televisions, and high-technology ultra-energy saving architectural coatings. The company is working with leading scientific institutes in Latvia, the Netherlands, Germany and United States to design new and modern glass coatings so as to improve the efficient use of sunlight. SIA GroGlass collaborates with AS Sidrabe, AS ALFA RPAR, the Institute of Solid State Physics University of Latvia, and other leading companies and research centers under the framework of the Baltic Solar Competence Centre to create the educational, scientific and manufacturing prerequisites in Latvia which are needed for the design of next-generation technologies for the global solar energy industry.

The investments of LVL 20 million (EUR 28.5 million) have come from Target Capital Corporation and Endeavor Capital Corporation. New Century Holding (NCH) has been

brought into the project as its manager. With the support of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, SIA GroGlass received funding of LVL 600,000 from the EU Structural Fund programmed „Support to modernization of the business infrastructure“.

The technologies which SIA GroGlass needs for the production of optical glass vacuum coatings were designed by the Latvian high-tech company AS Sidrabe, which is one of the world’s leaders in the manufacturing of vacuum coating technologies and the engineering of coating processes. The SIA GroGlass factory occupies 4,000 m2 of floor space. The factory will offer as many as 100 jobs when operating at full capacity, with maximum use of local specialists in the work. The cornerstone for the factory was laid in October 2006.

For more information:

Aija Dimanta, executive assistant

SIA GroGlass

Telephone: +371-675-02913

Mobile: +371-29239538

E- mail: aija@groglass.lv

www.groglass.lv

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