O-I Glass, the company that is making the glass jars for Dick Smith’s new range of fruit spreads, has opened a manufacturing plant in Vietnam.
The glass manufacturing plant will be a joint venture between O-I Glass, Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) and Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Company (SABECO).
It will be a state-of-the art facility, located 60 kilometres south east of Ho Chi Minh City in BaRja Vung Tau Province.
The US$47 million factory will produce 750 000 tonnes annually in the initial stages, with the possibility to expand to 84 000 tonnes per annum.
The plant will produce the glass for Vietnamese beer, soft drink, food, wine, spirits and pharmaceuticals, with one furnace, three glass-making lines anf two applies ceramic labeling printing lines.
Almost 450 people will be employed at the factory, primarily from the Ba Ria region, and will use natural gases in its operations.
The plant will replace an O-I facility in District 4 of Ho Chi Minh City that was recently vacated as part of the city’s urban development plans.
O-I chief executive and chairman Al Stroucken said the company is now the leading producer of glass in Vietnam.
“Vietnam is experiencing strong economic growth, which clearly provides opportunity for the glass industry,” he said.
“We know that beer is packaged primarily in glass here, and we know that consumers are looking for quality, taste and purity of contents.
“Our high quality and versatile glass containers are the perfect packaging solution.
“Glass is the most economical and sustainable packaging available, especially when using returnable containers, so it is vital that we have operations in place as the markets in this region grow and mature
“This new plant allows us to meet and exceed the high expectations of current and future customers in this region.”
BJC President Mr. Aswin Techajareonvikul said the company is focused on regional expansion in South East Asia, particularly Indochina and Malaysia.
“The opening of our latest facility will further strengthen our foothold in Vietnam where we have established trading and manufacturing operations in industrial and consumer products,” he said.
“Together with our TGI glass plants, the joint venture will make BJC and O-I BJC the largest producer of glass containers in South East Asia.
“It also is another major milestone in expanding BJC’s operations in the region.”
Last year a survey found over 90 per cent of people prefer glass packaging for food and beverages.