Author: Joel Spears / Managing Editor Source: The Rogersville Review
KINGSPORT - AGC Glass Company North America (AGNA), with operations at Church Hill, shuttered its Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport on Nov. 7 and announced that it will halt production of photovoltaic cover glass in the North American market.
While the closure has affected position for 70 employees in the Kingsport area, AGNA representatives said in a press release they are attempting to locate positions for as many people as possible to the Church Hill plant, and other locations across the U.S for those who are willing to relocated.
AGNA cited a sluggish economy, slowed customer demand and strong imports of both solar glass and finished solar modules as the reasons for this action.
The Church Hill facility, located on AFG Rd., as well as AGNA Corporate Services Office, located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Plant in Kingsport, will not be affected by the closure.
In an official release, AGNA representatives said they remain "committed to the North American glass markets and improving the performance of all of its business operations in North America."
AGNA said it will continue to invest "significant resources" in the Church Hill Greenland Plant and intends to start production at the location's G1 glass furnace in December.
"This furnace restart will enable AGNA to continue to grow its architectural and automotive glass businesses as those markets improve and grow in the next several years," the company stated.
The company also plans to roll out new value added products in 2013 to serve the needs of its architectural customers.
Spokesman Chris Correnti said; "We regret having to deliver this news to our employees and the Kingsport community. We have explored numerous avenues to continue operations but obstacles are just too great for us to overcome."
AGNA is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia and employs 3,700 people in the US, Canada and Mexico producing glass for the architectural and automotive markets in North America.
The company has manufacturing plants, research labs, and corporate offices in 17 states in the U.S. AGNA is part of the AGC global glass group which is based in Tokyo and employs around 50,000 employees worldwide with revenues of more than $14 billion.
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