Guardian Industries Corp. has culminated a few years of analysis and strategic planning in announcing plans to build a float glass manufacturing plant in Krasny Sulin (Rostov region), Russia.
The $220-million plant will be Guardian's largest, producing 900 tons of glass per day, and will include a technologically advanced glass coater.
The Rostov plant will produce Guardian's high-performance, energy-efficient ClimaGuard® (residential) and SunGuard® (commercial) glass products for construction of homes, offices, retail, health-care and other facilities. The plant is expected to begin operation in mid-2012, based on fulfillment of all incentives and agreements with local authorities, and will initially create 300 new jobs.
Located 957 kilometers (594 miles) from Moscow in the southern part of Russia along the Azov Sea, Rostov has sufficient natural resources, a large workforce and a well-developed transportation infrastructure. The area is also close to Sochi, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The location is a good fit for Guardian's growth strategy to supply glass to Russia and neighboring countries. In 2008, Guardian began production at its plant in Ryazan, Russia, serving the greater Moscow region. Guardian was one of the first companies to invest in Eastern Europe beginning construction in Hungary in July 1989 prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and presently operates facilities in Hungary, eastern Germany and Poland, among other European locations.
Guardian officials said they have been exploring the Rostov business opportunity over the past few years and are pleased to have reached this agreement.
"We appreciate the outstanding support we received from Rostov Governor Golubev and his administration," said Guardian Glass Group President Russell Ebeid. "It is evident that they view new investment as a priority, and the government works hard to streamline the development process to attract new projects that will create new jobs. Guardian is bullish on Russia given the excellent growth at our first plant in Ryazan and the customers we have in the country. The timing is right for the region and for Guardian."
"We have enjoyed strong support in Russia from both the government and a wide variety of customers," said Lajos Sapi, Guardian vice president of Central and Eastern Europe. "We look forward to continued growth in the country as we work closely with our customers and suppliers."