Business Secretary opens world’s largest glass furnace in UK

The Business Secretary, Greg Clark has opened container glass manufacturer Encirc’s new £40m, 206sqm industrial oven furnace at its facility in Cheshire.

The Business Secretary announced the official firing of what is now the largest glass container furnace in the world - image courtesy of Encirc.
The Business Secretary announced the official firing of what is now the largest glass container furnace in the world – image courtesy of Encirc.

During his visit to the glass container manufacturer and bottler, the business secretary toured Encirc’s industry-leading factory, where he announced the official firing of what is now the largest glass container furnace in the world.

Encirc, which is celebrating its 20th year of operation, was acquired by Spanish-based glass company, Vidrala, in 2015. Its new furnace is expected to boost Elton’s melting capacity by around 100 tonnes a day.

Based out of two advanced facilities in Elton, Cheshire and Derrylin, Northern Ireland, Encirc is responsible for producing around a third of all glass containers in Britain and is considered to be the most sustainable manufacturer of its kind.

The business employs more than 1,200 people and is renowned in the industry for its forward-thinking approach to sustainability and use of innovative production processes.

Greg Clark commented: “Encirc is a brilliant example of the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy in action. Innovation and new sustainable techniques to boost business productivity are crucial for our future economic strength and today’s opening is another demonstration of the strength of the UK’s manufacturing sector.”

Adrian Curry, managing director, Encirc, commented: “At a time when some are uncertain about the outlook of UK manufacturing, the investment in our new furnace represents a very strong commitment to our future by our Spanish-based parent company.

“We pride ourselves on using the latest technology which not only minimises our impact on the environment, but also helps increase efficiency in our supply chain.

“This new furnace will significantly increase our capacity to manufacture sustainable packaging, while our new railhead is reducing our road transport needs by one million kilometres per year, helping us cut annual carbon emissions by 245,000 kg.”

Glass Futures, a non-for-profit organisation, which supports excellence, innovation and training in the glass industry facilitated the visit to Encirc’s plant.