The plant, which currently produces float glass products for the automotive and architectural markets,will be upgraded to produce a wider product range, including on-line coated glazing.
Part of the investment will involve the installation of new advanced pollution control systems, which will reduce the overall environmental impact of the site. The project is located in the new San Joaquin County Enterprise Zone, and the investment will maintain and expand employment and stimulate the economy of the Central Valley.
The investment approval is contingent on obtaining required regulatory approvals and sufficient support from local utilities and state and local governmental bodies. If approved, site construction activities will commence in the fall of 2008. The Lathrop, California facility opened in 1962 and currently employs over 150 people. The Lathrop hourly workers are represented by the United Steelworkers.
The Flat Glass business of the NSG Group, operating under the Pilkington brand, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products for the building and automotive markets, with manufacturing operations in 29 countries on four continents and sales in 130 countries.
Overall, the NSG Group reported sales of $5.7 billion in the fiscal year 2007 and has ownership or interests in 51 float glass manufacturing lines worldwide (with an output of 6.4 million tons annually). Apart from automotive and architectural glass, the Group’s Specialty Glass business supplies a range of specialist products, including LCDs, optical components, micro lenses, and glass fibers.