What or who is Ciner Glass?

Ciner Glass is a holding company for Ciner Group’s global container glass activities, established in 2010 and headquartered in London, UK. We supply bottles to the beer, wine, soft drink and mineral water market. Our story started with one production facility in Turkey and, today, three major investments are planned in Wales, Belgium and Italy. Ciner Glass employs about 560 people.

Which concrete plans does Ciner Glass have for Lommel?

Ciner Glass’ project involves the construction of a new container glass production plant at Kristalpark III in Lommel. The facility will consist of two glass manufacturing furnaces, which will be realized in two phases, as well as warehouses for storing raw materials, waste and finished products. The site will also include an administrative building, car and truck parking spaces, rainwater infiltration basins and utility facilities (including a high-voltage room and a natural gas relaxation station).

Ciner Glass envisages a budget of approximately €320 million for this, with a strong commitment to offering a product of the highest quality with an eye for sustainability, innovation and efficiency. This investment will lead to the creation of 450 jobs and contribute to the sustainability of the glass production chain.

We expect to start the construction of furnace 1 in [September 2022]. The construction of furnace 2 is expected to start 6 months later. With constructions taking up to 3 years, furnace 1 should be operative from 2024 and furnace 2 from 2025.

Why did Ciner Glass choose for Kristalpark III in Lommel, Belgium?

First of all, Belgium is well positioned to serve the existing operations of Ciner Glass’ European customers. There is a low density and even scarcity of container glass production in the area and, currently, most volumes of container glass need to be imported. Our intention is to get as close to our customers as possible to cut the economic and environmental costs of transporting glass.
Second, the long and rich tradition of glass production as well as the availability of silica sand, the perfect raw material for high-quality glass, and cullet make Lommel an obvious choice for Ciner Glass’ expansion. This will allow to increase the percentage of recycled glass to 70% (instead of 50%) and to close the loop.
In addition, Lommel is relatively close to the port of Antwerp. Natural soda ash, the second most important raw material for glass, will be supplied via this port. In addition, it offers great potential for the export of the container glass outside Belgium and the Netherlands.
Finally, Kristalpark III offers not only sufficiently large plots and a strategic location, but also the largest solar farm in the Benelux. This combination makes the business park the ideal location to further develop our activities.

When will the construction start and how long will it take? Do you expect there to be any hindrance?

If the plans receive the necessary planning approval, we expect to start the construction of Furnace 1 in [September 2022]. The construction of Furnace 2 is expected to start 6 months later.
We strive to make a positive contribution to the planet and to the communities in which we are active. Extensive studies have been made of how best to fit the production facility for Lommel into the surrounding area. Working with three production levels on top of one another, we foresee a compact building and, consequently, a maximum conservation of green open space. As many as 10 hectares, or 43% of the plot of land under option, would be reserved for native planting. In addition, the project goes hand in hand with extensive efforts to limit the impact on mobility, but also in terms of noise, air quality, soil, water consumption, biodiversity, archaeology …
We are committed to working closely with the local community and listening to their concerns.
When would the production facility be operational?
If the plans receive the necessary approvals, we intend to start supplying glass bottles to beverage producers across Europe from 2024. The facility would become fully operational by 2025 with both glass making furnaces in operation.
What is the contribution of these investments to employment?

The project is expected to create about 450 new jobs on a shift basis split between 80% blue-collar and 20% white-collar jobs, having a significant impact on reducing unemployment and establishing an extensive new supply chain of local and regional businesses.

In order to bring this project to a successful conclusion and to maximize the potential of the new innovative production facility, there is a need for in-depth and thorough training for the new employees at the facility in Lommel. In Turkey, we took the decision to employ only a small percentage of our staff with previous experience in the glass industry and to train the hundreds of people we needed from the local area. We would do the same in Lommel. Large numbers of our manufacturing teams would be trained at the Turkish plants prior to them working at the new plant in Belgium.

The knowledge that will be built up in Flanders through this extensive training programme is substantial. The project will also put Flanders on the map for the first time as a knowledge centre in the field of glass packaging production.

How does Ciner Glass take into account the environment in its activities?

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint as far and fast as possible. Our objective is to provide customers with the highest quality glass at the lowest weight using less energy and natural resources. In order to achieve this objective, we focus on three main aspects: well thought out production processes, product innovation and sustainable transport.
Read more about how sustainability is at the heart of our project for Lommel here