SOUTH AFRICA – Ardagh Glass Packaging – Africa has announced plans to add a third furnace (N3) to expand the glass capacity of its Nigel production facility in Gauteng, South Africa.

The latest investment announcement follows the recently commissioned R1.5 billion (US$95m) Nigel 2 expansion and will further ramp up the facility’s capacity of glass packaging to support the present and projected growth in demand in the upcoming years.

Ardagh said that the N3 furnace will be a copy of the N2 expansion that was finished earlier this year and will also include a new furnace and more production lines.

Additionally, it will significantly improve energy, water, and environmental efficiency, which will eventually support AGP – Africa’s effort to decarbonize the glass-making process and cut emissions.

The group said that the expansion plans will generate more job opportunities and enhance ancillary supply-chain benefits in the region.

This capital investment will further bolster the government’s economic recovery plans in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, offering additional job opportunities and increased ancillary supply-chain benefits in the community.

The third furnace at the Nigel production facility is expected to be commissioned in late 2023.

Ardagh said that the expansion plans are underpinned by long-term customer contracts and align with the group’s commitment at the time of acquisition to invest in the growth of the South African glass industry.

The Nigel production facility will be the biggest glass container production facility on the African continent and in the AGP – Africa network once the latest expansion is finished, the company claimed.

The recent invests by the global supplier of metal and glass packaging, follows its US$1 billion acquisition of Consol Group.

As part of its terms and conditions for acquiring Consol, the Competition Commission required that the group invest in the construction of a new glass manufacturing facility.

Expansion of the Nigel plant is part of the company’s adherence to the commission’s requirement, in addition to its commitment to a third furnace at the facility.

Meanwhile, In September 2022, the packaging and labeling company partnered with B&B Studio and Belvoir Farm to design a new glass bottle design for Belvoir Farm’s new drinks range.

The latest range of non-alcoholic Botanical Sodas will now come in a 500ml flint glass bottle with 45% recycled glass content that is recyclable and weighs 380g.

The firm was also awarded the prestigious platinum rating – the highest sustainability ranking awarded by EcoVadis.

The Platinum rating recognizes Ardagh’s responsible and sustainable business practices and underlines the scope and ambition of its sustainability efforts. Ardagh is now part of the top 1% of companies recognized with a platinum EcoVadis rating.

The company has a clear goal of alignment with the UN and Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

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