The RAK float glass plant will be the second one constructed in the region by these partners. GulfGuard, located in Al Jubail, was the region’s first float glass making facility, and has served markets in Saudi Arabia and surrounding Gulf countries since it began production in 1996.
“Because the regional demand for glass has grown, we were motivated to add new capacity,” said Yousef Abaalkhail, chairman of the board of managers of both GulfGuard and Guardian RAK. “The Ras Al Khaimah plant will more than double the partners’ capacity for float glass and provide the flexibility to increase float glass product offerings.” Upon completion of the Guardian RAK facility, the group plans to dedicate GulfGuard’s capacity to serving Saudi Arabian customers. The current facility has ample capacity to meet all of the Kingdom’s glass requirements.
With an initial investment of approximately $115 million, Guardian RAK will produce 700 tons of glass per day to be used in automotive and construction applications, including high-performance coated glass. The RAK facility will employ approximately 300 people and generate as many as 1,000 additional jobs in related supplier and logistics industries.
The Gulf region is experiencing a construction boom. Nonetheless, the combined capacity of the new Ras Al Khaimah glass plant and GulfGuard will exceed the region’s float glass demand for many years into the future. The board plans to ramp up production as demand increases. While export markets to surrounding countries are shrinking, the Guardian family of companies’ network of sales personnel is well positioned to take advantage of unique global export opportunities.