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Saint-Gobain looks to value-added glasses to stay afloat

Post Time:Nov 25,2008Classify:Company NewsView:388

Saint-Gobain Glass India, the largest float glass producer in the country, is making strategic shift to value-added performance glasses as the demand for glass is falling. B Santhanam, president, flat glass, South Asia, and managing director of Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd, said the demand for glass has fallen 2% to 3% from over a million tonne in 2008. The slowdown in the construction and automotive sectors are expected to pull down the demand further. However, the silver lining amid this gloom has been the jump in value terms .

Saint-Gobain, which has two float glass lines and four other units for products at Sriperumbudur, has set up three platforms for temeprable solar controlled products, temeprable solar controlled and low emissable products, and advanced high selective glass, which lets in light and keeps out heat, and gives transparent looks to the buildings.

From these platforms, the company would make about 30 different products. Two of them, to be launched shortly, are ‘Bioclean’ and ‘Aquaclean’, glass coatings that could be used for facades. Glass panels could be cleaned by usig very little water and by the ultraviolet rays of the Sun.

Market studies and seed marketing of ‘sunban’ products were under way and many new products would be in the market in 2009, he said. Some of them would be showcased at the Glass Technology India, 2008 exhibition in New Delhi during December 5-7, 2008.

Santhanam said the glass products manufacturing and marketing, including exports, could be developed into a world-class industry on the lines of the auto-components sector. From very low levels, the auto parts industry has gained global recognition and quality in less than two decades. The potential for the glass products within the country and export markets like the West Asian countries was immense, he said.

The manufacturers should be able to develop new segments, explore new markets and develop capability to handle high energy-efficient solar control products.

One of the major challenges for the glass industry in India has been the production capacity exceeding demand. Per capita consumption of glass in India has been very low at 0.75 kg against the world average of 8 kg. In China, it is close to 15 kg.

The raw glass capacity in the country is expected to go up by 30% next year with the comissioning of two...

Source: financialexpress.comAuthor: shangyi

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