PPG to Make Solarphire PV Glass at Fresno Plant
February 2, 2012

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries' flat glass business will expand production capability at its Fresno, Calif., plant to accommodate the manufacture of Solarphire photovoltaic (PV) glass, an ultra-low-iron glass used to make components for the solar power industry, according to a February 1 company news release.

Richard A. Beuke, PPG vice president, flat glass, says the production of Solarphire PV glass at the Fresno Works will make PPG the first and only manufacturer of low-iron glass on the West Coast and enhance the company's ability to serve the region's burgeoning solar power market.

"For decades, PPG has been the industry leader in low-iron glass technology," Beuke says in the release. "With demand for these products growing in California and the southwestern U.S., the ability to meet the delivery and service requirements of our West Coast customers has become a critical priority. The new capability at the Fresno plant is planned specifically to help address their needs."

Scott Follett, global director, PPG Solar Performance Group, says the primary benefit of making Solarphire PV glass in Fresno will be reduced delivery times. "Unless customers have special orders, PPG should be able to make next-day deliveries throughout California and the southwest," he says in the release. "Shipping Solarphire PV glass from the East Coast, as we do now, usually takes three to four days. Going forward, we will have greater flexibility to meet customers' inventory and production requirements."

Follett says the new capability will enable the company to expedite shipments to customers in Asia as well.

Beuke says that while no new jobs will be associated with expanded production at the Fresno plant, it will benefit existing employees. "The addition of the solar business will enable the plant to generate more tonnage, so we expect to have fewer production slowdowns that lead to layoffs."

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