CHURCH HILL - In 2008, AGC Glass Company North America announced that its Greenland Plant, located in Church Hill, would idle two production lines and lay off 250 workers.
On Monday, it appeared things were looking up when the company announced AGC Greenland will reopen its G1 float glass line and hire 100 people to maintain it. However, company officials said the new positions will be offered to employees laid off at the Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport following the shutdown of a K1 furnace.
"Northeast Tennessee is an important region for our company and hopefully this restart will help lessen the effects from the K1 shutdown," AGC President and CEO Mark Ishiko said.
When the G1 line was shut down at Greenland, AGC officials stated they would restart it when market conditions were more favorable.
"At present, market conditions have become favorable enough to restart the line," an AGC press release states. "About 100 people will be hired when this line becomes operational."
Ishiko added, "This float line will be an important boost for our company as we seek to grow our glass business in North America. G1 will manufacture float glass to serve both the architectural and automotive markets. We plan to service the growing demands of the North American automotive business, and grow our architectural business with higher quality clear and tinted float glass."
Additionally, Ishiko explained AGC has a global strategy to grow beyond existing business to seek strategic growth opportunities and position the company for long term growth. He said the G1 restart will allow AGC "to be ready as markets move upward."
Members of Hawkins County Industrial Development Board and the State of Tennessee are working with AGC to secure tax and other incentives for the project.
Larry Elkins, Chairman of the Hawkins County Industrial Development Board, stated "Lynn Lawson and our Board have been working with AGC for the last two years and we are pleased AGC is proceeding with this investment at the Greenland plant. On behalf of the Board, we appreciate AGC's support for our community. This is a reflection of the Board's continuing efforts to foster growth and expansion of existing industries in Hawkins County."
AGC has applied for a construction permit from the state and the project is subject to the state approval before it can proceed.
The company said it plans to install new, leading edge environmental control equipment as a part of the restart that will improve air emissions from the manufacturing line to meet more stringent standards and enhance the region's air quality.
AGC officials said construction should begin this summer and the line could be active by the end of 2012.
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, AGC Glass Company North America is one of the largest flat glass manufacturers in North America. The company is part of Japan-based Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. A fully integrated supplier, AGC has 3,600 employees in three major divisions: Primary, Coatings, and Fabrication. Through its three strategic business units, AGC offers Building Products, Solar Glass and Automotive Glass. AGC has facilities across North America, including two in the the Church Hill and Kingsport area. Visit the Web site http://www.us.agc.com
for more information.