Arglass has appointed glass industry construction expert Luis Lema as the Project Director for the $230 million construction of the company’s second glass furnace in Valdosta, Georgia, USA.

The glass container manufacturer plans to build a new furnace capable of melting 490 metric tons of glass per day.

This equates to over 350 million sustainable glass containers being produced annually at Arglass’s campus in Valdosta, Georgia.

Mr Lema brings 28 years of experience to the project, which includes roles with O-I Glass and Ardagh Glass Packaging North America.

He oversaw multiple furnace construction projects with O-I, including the $562 million joint-venture construction of a fifth glass furnace at Mexican glass container manufacturer Industria Vidriera de Coahuila’s (IVC) plant in Piedras Negras.

The project, which was completed in 2020, brought the plant’s total production capacity to 9.5 million bottles per day with a daily melting capacity of 2,200 tons.

Lema also oversaw the $108 million expansion of O-I’s plant in Zipaquirá, Colombia, in 2022.

Mr Lema said: "After 28 years of experience in the industry, I’m ready for a new challenge in building the most innovative and sustainable furnace operation in North America.

“I’m honoured to be part of the Arglass team as the company raises the bar for digital glassmaking and environmental stewardship."

In addition to his experience with plant expansion, Mr Lema also brings expertise in project and engineering management, environmental health and safety leadership, contractors management and site start up.

He has held multiple roles in the United States, Latin America and China.

Arglass Chairman and CEO José de Diego Arozamena, said: "As construction begins on our second furnace, Luis brings the expertise we need to carry our expansion through to its full potential.

"His wealth of knowledge and experience is an incredibly valuable asset as we go through our first campus expansion."

The project is expected to be completed in Q2 2025.