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2 minute read - 3rd July 2024

O-I Glass to make £118m UK manufacturing investment

O-I Glass has announced plans for a major transformation of its Alloa glass bottle manufacturing plant in Scotland, creating an even more technologically advanced facility with an expected significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Over the next two years, the US-headquartered company plans to invest approximately £118m* ($150m) in a series of upgrades to the site. The transformation includes a rebuild of one of its existing furnaces, featuring state-of-the art technology and improved sustainability performance through several measures including gas-oxy combustion and increased levels of renewable energy and recycled glass.

In addition, O-I has begun to build an all-new furnace featuring the same technological advancements. This furnace will increase long-term flexibility to serve and support the company’s customers and growth plans in the spirits segment, and strengthen its own sustainability efforts.

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O-I Glass is to make a £118m technology and sustainability transformation investment at its Alloa manufacturing plant / Picture: O-I Glass

The company said these investments are consistent with its recently updated sustainability roadmap and capital spending plan, as well as with expected market demand. The company expects both furnaces to come online in 2025 when these measures will gradually and significantly reduce the plant’s emissions and provide another building block of the company’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions 25% by 2030.

Randy Burns, chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer for O-I Glass, said: “Our vision is to be the most innovative, sustainable, and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions. We create sustainable, innovative, brand-building glass packaging for brands around the world. The Alloa plant transformation marks the next step in delivering our overall sustainability strategy.”

To fuel the gas-oxy furnaces, O-I is partnering with a supplier to establish an oxygen farm adjacent to the Alloa plant. Bringing more new investment into the area, this state-of-the art facility will separate air into oxygen, nitrogen and argon, and is set to also serve the needs of hospitals and other local manufacturing companies.

These initiatives establish an infrastructure that prepares a base for continued transformation of the Alloa site with a long-term horizon towards the end of the decade.

Jim Rankine, O-I’s UK managing director, added: “With glass production starting in the year 1750, the Alloa plant has the longest heritage of all O-I sites. We are proud that Alloa is also a prime example of transforming heritage into a state-of-the-art facility in the 21st century, and we are looking forward to continue serving our customers with sustainable glass.”

*O-I Glass made the original announcement as $150m in US Dollars – due to ongoing currency fluctuations, £118m is an estimate based on exchange rates on the day of publishing.

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