O-I Glass has announced a €95m ($103.1m) investment in two of its French glass packaging production facilities.

The investment, part of the company’s modernisation programme, aims to enhance the sustainability, flexibility, and productivity of its operations in Gironcourt-sur-Vraine and Reims.

Gironcourt-sur-Vraine: €55m investment

In Gironcourt-sur-Vraine, where the plant recently celebrated its 120th anniversary, €55m will be invested in collaboration with a key customer to rebuild a furnace and equip it with innovative oxy-gas advanced technology.

This technology, already implemented at the O-I plant in Vayres, France, uses a mix of gas and oxygen to heat the furnace, reducing carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by up to 18%. 

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Additionally, a production line at the plant will be modernised to increase flexibility and capacity. 

The plant primarily produces bottles for the beer market, with approximately 80% of its raw materials being scrap and locally recycled glass.

Reims: €40m investment

In Reims, O-I has completed a €40m investment for a major upgrade, including the renovation of one of the plant’s two furnaces and a production line, as well as the installation of new equipment.

This investment has resulted in an overall energy reduction of approximately 5%. 

The Reims plant, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2023, is a model for O-I’s sustainability efforts, with roughly 90% of its raw materials being scrap and locally recycled glass. 

Since 2019, waste heat from glass packaging production has been recovered for use in homes in the local community.

Sustainability and efficiency

Both plants are committed to sustainability and efficiency. 

The Gironcourt-sur-Vraine plant reduces the number of trucks per week by approximately 250 by supplying bottles to customers by rail. 

Meanwhile, the Reims plant, located in the heart of the Champagne vineyards, delivers champagne bottles to nearby customers with trucks powered by grapeseed and fryer oil, resulting in a 60% CO₂ emission reduction compared to diesel fuel.

Walter Ferrer, managing director of O-I Glass for Southwest Europe, said: “These very significant investments are perfectly in line with the global approach adopted by O-I to reinforce our commitment to sustainable development, increase the energy efficiency of our equipment, create more resilient supply chains and constantly seek to improve the working conditions of our teams.

“They also demonstrate the confidence we have in our facilities in France, and our full commitment to serving our customers, our teams, and the planet.”