Guardian opens new float plant in Russia

September 17, 2009
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, AUTO, FABRICATION

Guardian Industries, Auburn Hills, Mich., celebrated the grand opening of its new float glass facility in Ryazan, Russia, today with an open house for federal and local officials, customers, suppliers and employees, according to a Sept. 17 release.

Ryazan Gov. Oleg Ivanovich Kovalev, former Gov. Georgy Shpak and Mayor Oleg Vladimirovich Shishov joined more than 350 guests for the event. The Ryazan plant produces 750 metric tons of float glass per day, to be used for residential and commercial construction.

The plant also features a technologically advanced coating machine, which enables the manufacture of a variety of world-class, high-performance coated glass products specifically designed to meet the needs of Russian customers, and those of neighboring countries. Russia has been extremely active in recent years in the use of highly energy-efficient building materials including insulation and windows, according to the release. 

Guardian’s investment in Russia is a natural progression following investments in Central and Eastern Europe. It also is the first step in plans for continued growth in the country. “Ryazan is Guardian’s initial entry into the region,” said Russ Ebeid, chairman of the board and president of Guardian’s Glass Group, in the release. “The decision to build in Ryazan fits with our global strategy and our marketing considerations. We are so confident in the opportunities in Russia that we are already in the very early days of planning a second float glass plant in Rostov in Southeast Russia.” Guardian also maintains facilities in Oroshaza, Hungary; Thalheim, Germany; and Czestochowa, Poland, among other European locations.

“First we had to understand the business and governmental circumstances that are unique in Russia," said Lajos Sapi, Guardian group vice president for Central and Eastern Europe, in the release. "We are grateful to have received outstanding support from Ryazan’s government officials in doing just that. It is you and your administrations that have helped us become a part of the local community.”

Sapi added that, “The number of residential units in Russia is lower than the European average therefore a promising amount of new home construction has started. We expect it to grow in the coming years. In addition, we can count on the modernization of existing homes in terms of comfort and energy savings.”