AGC Glass Plans to Open Production Plant in Saudi Arabia
The joint venture is to open a solar glass coating manufacturing plant by the start of 2016, to be built in Yanbu. The plant will be on the same site as Obeikan’s float glass plant. The coatings are used to block out excess heat from the sun to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Obiekan Glass is owned by the Saudi Arabian industrial entities Obeikan Investment Group and Saudi Advanced Industries Company. In October this year, the owner of AGC Glass, Asahi Glass, converted one of its solar glass factories in China to make automotive products, at a cost of USD 45,8 million, and also closed a photovoltaic (PV) glass plant in USA and a raw glass facility serving the Philippines’ PV market in 2012. AGC also produces building integrated PV products for the European and Japanese market. Middle East solar glass market has grown 4 %/a, and it is estimated to continue as demand for energy saving improvements increases. The region has ambitious PV deployment goals. It is widely expected to expand its own domestic PV manufacturing capabilities to enable it to capture more of the value chain as its solar deployment levels grow with glass for modules identified as one component that could be produced locally.