The announcement takes place against the backdrop of an increasingly tight capacity situation, as according to some industry projections, glass mat demand will exceed supply by 2006."Given the industry capacity situation, and our customers' needs, we are delighted to respond with this major investment, which demonstrates our continued commitment to the glass mat business and our valued customers," said Zain Mahmood, vice president and general manager, Construction Materials and Systems. "We especially look forward to supporting the growth plans, and the accompanying glass-mat need, of our shingle customers as they increase capacity to meet market demand."
The new line will also enable JM to support growing and evolving specialty mat applications. "We see opportunities to leverage our unique technical capabilities in support of the wallboard and other construction segments where moisture management is a key advantage," said Fred Stephan, vice president and general manager, High Performance Nonwovens.
JM's facility at Etowah in Tennessee was selected as the site for this significant investment because of its strategic proximity to major roofing shingle and wallboard customers. Additionally, JM has two of its largest glass fibre furnaces located in Etowah.
"The strong work ethic of our dedicated and professional team was a key reason for our selection of Etowah," said Dion Persson, senior vice president, Engineered Products. "Coupled with our world-class technology and the emerging platforms of glass mat, this investment will clearly position JM as the leading provider of glass mat in the construction materials space."
The plant is planned to be fully operational by early 2007.