AS VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA invests EUR 9 million in upgrading its glass melting furnace

24. September, 2021

By completing an extensive reconstruction of the current glass melting furnace in August-September of 2021, AS VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA has built the new, advanced E-glass melting furnace No. 2.2. EUR 9 million was invested in this project to improve the production quality of the furnace and make it more efficient and climate neutral. The E-glass melting furnace will allow the company to ensure stable supply and delivery of the E-glass and its products to the global glass fibre market. The glass melting furnace is expected to reach full capacity by October this year, and gradual production will start as early as at the end of September.

Construction of a new E-glass melting furnace was one of the 2021 strategic development goals of the company to strengthen its position among other producers and suppliers of glass fibre products. “With the help of our shareholders and our financing partners, we have managed to terminate the LPP early and put the company on a solid financial basis. The switch to investment and growth is now the logical step to make us as a reliable, European manufacturer even more attractive for our customers. We have already started further investment projects in order to meet the market requirements in 2022 and the following years. The focus here will certainly be on the products related to silica glass and HR glass.” underlines Stefan Jugel, the Chairman of the Management Board, AS VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA.

A new automatic control system was installed for E-glass melting furnace No. 2.2, its electric heating furnace was completely reconstructed in the melting section, and the electric melting capacity was significantly increased to reach EU natural gas consumption and CO2 reduction targets. The furnace also has a new recuperator for recovering the heat from exhaust fumes, as well as a new filter for the exhaust fumes. In parallel, we have also reconstructed the indoor climate maintenance system and made investments in the glass fibre bobbin storage and maturing system that ensures much higher manufacturing quality. We invested an additional EUR 1.9 million to complete these works.

“By reconstructing furnace No. 2.2, we not only want to become technologically advanced, but also to protect the environment, and become as climate neutral as possible in our core business. These improvements allow us to take a few steps towards this goal: with the new recuperator, we will be able to recover more heat from the exhaust fumes of the furnace, and heat the production facilities instead of the outdoor air. Thanks to the higher electric melting capacity, we will consume less natural gas and produce fewer CO2 emissions. Moreover, the reconstructed climate maintenance system will increase the quality of our products, as well as considerably improve the working conditions of our employees during the warmer months of the year. It will also allow us to use energy sources in a more rational manner,” explains Ģirts Vēveris, the Member of the Management Board of AS VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA who is responsible for production.

Glass melting furnace No. 2.2 features an approx. 35 sq. m basin, and its maximum production capacity is up to 50 tonnes of E-glass fibre per 24 hours. The glass melting furnace is expected to have a 10-year life cycle after the reconstruction.

As previously reported, AS VALMIERAS STIKLA ŠĶIEDRA has also decided to rebuild the second silica glass melting furnace No.4.1 in beginning of 2022, thereby doubling its production volume. The aim of this project is to increase the production capacity of high silica glass fibre products to meet growing demand and provide the market with the required volume of high silica glass fibre products. It is planned to invest approximately EUR 10 million in the implementation of the project, including technologies for further processing of the glass.

An announcement of the second high silica glass melting furnace planned reconstruction can be found HERE.