Nampak Glass is focusing on expanding its portfolio of glass bottles so it can partner with the wine industry on a sustainable, long-term basis.
Nampak Glass responded to the demand for a reliable glass bottle supplier for the wine industry by commissioning a third energy-efficient glass furnace at its manufacturing facility in Roodekop, Gauteng. The R1,2-billion furnace, which went into operation in 2014, has increased the plant’s capacity from 195 000 to 270 000 tons a year.
When the Nampak Glass factory was officially opened in 1984 it had a single-furnace capable of producing enough glass for 11% of the South African market. During construction, provision was made for a second furnace, which was added in year. The addition of a third furnace was a significant investment for Nampak as it enabled the company to increase its capacity by 56%, thus strengthening its position as a glass packaging manufacturer in South Africa.
This third furnace is among the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced in the world. Emissions, energy, waste and water are all managed efficiently, with improved flexibility in terms of colour, shape and light-weighting of final products. Specific features include cullet batch preheating from waste gases, a closed loop water purification system and an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) filter that reduces emissions.
Since the addition of the third furnace, Nampak Glass has introduced a range of wine bottles that replaces 750-ml wine bottles that weigh 450 g or more with the latest standard of 410 g and some weighing as little as 380 g. This provides customers with more environmentally friendly options in which to export their wine.
“Our core focus with establishing the third furnace was to grow our market share,” says André Barnard, business unit manager at Nampak Glass Western Cape. “We’re thrilled to say we’ve done just that in the wine industry – and we need to thank the industry for supporting us and giving us the opportunity.”
While this investment created the opportunity and capacity to refocus and become a more meaningful glass container supplier to the South African wine industry, Nampak Glass was still unable to manufacture premium speciality glass containers.
This prompted the company to join forces with Verallia Glass, formerly part of the Saint-Gobain group. The partnership has paid off – since becoming the exclusive South African agent for Verallia in 2016, Nampak Glass has made significant inroads into the premium glass market.
“Verallia the biggest wine and MCC glass bottle producer in Western Europe,” André says. “Adding its range of wine and spirit bottles to our existing diverse portfolio has enabled us to now meet our customers’ demands at entry level and on premium brands.”
The new Verallia offering includes antique green glass bottles and extra-flint bottles for premium spirit brands. With innovative, customised and environmentally friendly solutions, Verallia ranks as one of the world’s top three manufacturers of glass packaging containers. Supported by five technical and 13 product development centres around the world, Verallia produces about 16 billion glass containers annually.
The company offers customers access to the latest trends and innovations, enabling brand managers to customise their premium brands. It also has a complementary offering of various decorative designs that can be applied to glass and add value to glass containers.
“Verallia’s business model is based on combining the strength of its global network and local customer relationships in all regions, which made it the perfect fit for Nampak Glass,” André says. “Its offering complements ours and together we’re going from strength to strength in the South African market. Nampak Glass will continue to focus on growing its market share and being a meaningful second supplier to the wine industry. With the much larger portfolio Verallia added to our existing range, the future looks bright.”