A UK glassworks has secured planning permission for the installation of an air separation unit.

The O-I Alloa facility, UK said the unit will separate air into oxygen, nitrogen and argon using a distillation process with storage on-site.

Much of the oxygen will be piped straight to the glassworks to fuel upgraded oxy-fuel furnaces. The move will reduce carbon emissions and ensure the viability of the business, which employs hundreds of people.

The unit will be installed by Air Products industrial gases group.

In a report, O-I said it presently has three three furnaces in production at Alloa: 81, 82 and 85.

These furnaces currently burn a mixture of natural gas and air to produce the desired temperatures required to melt the batch.

An oxygen supply would allow the facility to move to oxy fuel furnaces once the lifecycle of the existing furnaces comes to an end.

At the moment 85 furnace is at the end of its life. It is scheduled to be replaced next year.

The company is investing in repairs to ensure it can safely keep this furnace in production until then.

The goal is to rebuild 85 furnace with a new design and incorporate this oxy fuel technology.

The container glass manufacturer added that the Air Products plant will supply other smaller customers with the gasses they refine from their process.

Also, the construction of the oxy-fuel furnaces and associated oxygen plant increase employment security for the Alloa plant for years to come.

Plant construction will lead to approximately 100 indirect jobs, while the plant itself will lead to approximately 10 direct jobs for ongoing operation and maintenance.

Despite concerns by residents over safety, noise, traffic, the decision was approved by Clackmannanshire Council on November 3.

Committee chair Dennis Coyne said: "I know there might be some impacts on the community and we have to consider amenity in our decisions, but I am convinced that the company will do everything it can to make sure these mitigations are effective."