Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) has commissioned a R1.5 billion ($95m) extension of its Nigel production facility in Gauteng, South Africa.

The investment more than doubles the facility’s capacity to provide glass packaging to support customers’ current and projected demand growth and incorporates a new furnace and production lines.

The Nigel glass manufacturing facility now has two furnaces with eight production lines in total. The new furnace was heated up in the second quarter of this year. Production output capacity will vary depending on manufactured product mix but will be approximately 100, 000 tons.


The N2 furnace has been designed to be as energy and water efficient as possible.

Its premium technology includes the latest furnace, compressed air and cooling systems to reduce water usage and electricity and CO2 emissions per ton of glass produced.

The significant electrical usage supports its plans for the introduction of green energy and allows for reductions in the glass footprint going forward.

Sophisticated model-predictive control systems will permit finer control and more efficient responses to changes in production processes to reduce energy and improve quality.

N2 is also equipped with an electrostatic precipitator (ESP), which greatly reduces particulate emissions.

An ESP has also previously been installed at AGP – Africa’s Bellville glass facility in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Ardagh said the capital investment will bolster the government’s economic recovery plans and the project will offer job opportunities in Ekurhuleni, a city that has always had an unemployment rate that is above the Gauteng and national averages.

The expansion has created more than 150 direct jobs and significant ancillary supply-chain expenditure.

Paul Curnow, AGP – Africa’s CEO, said: “Completion of this project, on time and budget despite the Covid-19 and supply chain challenges of the past two years, represents a tremendous achievement by our technical and operational teams."

Paul Coulson, Chairman and CEO of Ardagh Group, said: “Demand for sustainable packaging in Africa is growing strongly, supported by multiple factors, including rising income levels, growing sustainability awareness, favourable demographics and a shift to one-way packaging.”