Glass Container Company (GCC) is set to receive funding to support its €17m project for the expansion of production by 60%.

As part of the European Investment Bank’s Filière du Vin project, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mobiabanca – Groupe Société Générale have jointly committed to provide €12.5m in loans to GCC.

The upgrade project is set to be conducted in two phases and involves the complete reconstruction of existing GCC furnace and installation of two modern 10-section IS machines.

Installation of energy-saving LEHRS, quality control and packaging equipment form part of the programme.

The project includes single, double and triple gob functionality, and will enable GCC to upgrade to NNPB technology.

Once completed, it is expected to significantly improve the output of GCC’s furnace from 50,000t to 80,000t annually.

“It is expected to significantly improve the output of GCC’s furnace from 50,000t to 80,000t annually.”

The combined pull capacity will increase from 100,000t to 160,000t per year, which includes the capacity of GCC’s sister company Glass Container Prim (GCP). The number of production sections will also increase from 36 to 56.

GCC CEO Oleg Baban said: “The shortage of glass container capacity in Europe is evident. As consumers increasingly shift away from plastic packaging, the glass market has seen a robust growth over the last years, which is expected to continue in the mid to long term.

“With over 60% of our production exported to 28 countries worldwide, we have already demonstrated our competitiveness in servicing more distant geographies. With this new equipment, our competitive advantage will only increase.”

Following the upgrade, GCC aims to foray into new packaging segments such as mineral water and baby food. It will also bolster its capabilities in small format jars, large containers and light beer bottles sections.