Moldova’s Glass Container Company (GCC) is to upgrade its facilities in a €17 million project.

In a two-stage project, the Chisnau-based group will increase output of its furnace from 50 to 80,000 tonnes a year.

With its sister-organisation Glass Container Prim (GCP) total pull capacity will increase from the current 100 thousand tons, to 160 thousand tons per year, with the number of production sections increasing from 36 to 56.

The reconstruction will support GCC's transition to NNPB technology, as well as includes single, double and triple gob functionality.

This will enable GCC to expand their segment capabilities to small format jars, large containers, light beer bottles, as well as tap high-growth market niches including mineral water and baby food, among others.

The €17 million project is co-financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mobiabanca - Groupe Société Générale, as part of the European Investment Bank's Filière du Vin project, which jointly committed €12.5 million in loans.

The financing is supported by a guarantee and technical assistance programme funded by the European Union.

The upgrade will also lead to energy and material savings for GCC. It builds on a series of recent improvements, targeting sales and marketing capabilities, as well as an effort focused on automation in the finance function.

The scope of work includes the full reconstruction of its existing furnace, the installation of two modern 10-section IS machines, energy saving lehrs, quality control and packaging equipment.

Technology will be provided by industry suppliers, including Techglass, Refel, Bottero, Antonini, Emmeti, Thimon, Tiama, Iris Inspection Machines, Gardener Denver and Vidromecanica.

GCC’s production capacity of 140 packed tons per day will increase to 220 tons. Jointly with GCP, capacity will increase to 440 packed tons per day.

Post-reconstruction, GCC will have NNPB capabilities, in addition to Press and Blow, while the machines, will shift from double-gob only, to cover the entire range from single to triple gob.

These new capabilities will enable it to better deliver on its value proposition as a one-stop-shop for all glass packaging needs, differentiating through service and the flexibility of offering.

GCC said it had built sufficient inventory for the reconstruction period to ensure meeting its customer's needs and remaining a high-quality and reliable supplier of all glass packaging needs.

Oleg Baban, CEO, 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.”