Glass manufacturer O-I Glass has recently completed a transformation project at its Zipaquira plant in Colombia. 

The company invested approximately $120m to improve the site’s productivity, sustainability, and flexibility. 

The plant now boasts a new furnace featuring advanced oxy-fuel combustion and waste heat recovery technology.  

These improvements are expected to bolster O-I’s capacity to cater to strategic customers and emerging segments in the food and beverage industry. 

The investment improves energy efficiency and reduces carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by up to 15% per tonne of production from the new furnace. 

When compared to traditional air-fuel-fired furnaces, the new technologies at the Zipaquira plant are set to cut nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 50%.  

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The updated plant will also help increase the use of recycled glass.  

O-I Glass chief sustainability and corporate affairs officer Randy Burns said: “This investment exemplifies O-I’s approach of using vision and innovation to transform how glass is made. 

“It continues our practice of intelligently applying technology to move closer to the equilibrium that sustainability represents. It is part of O-I’s commitment and strategy to achieve our stated 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.” 

The Zipaquira site, one of O-I’s largest plants in Central America, employs more than 700 individuals. 

The addition of a new furnace has created approximately 100 new jobs, leading to a greater number of indirect jobs in the region.  

The investment is part of the company’s ongoing investment to upgrade its plants and is in line with its previously announced capital spending plan. 

O-I Andean region managing director Alvaro Suarez said: “This investment is having a positive impact on community development, aligned with our commercial strategy and the projected market growth, representing growth opportunities for our Company.” 

In February this year, O-I announced a €95m ($103.1m) investment in two of its French glass packaging production facilities.