Sefpro has created a joint venture with China’s Anhui Sino-Refractory Technology (AFR) to strengthen its position in the largest and fastest growing glass market in the world.

AFR is a young company which produces fused cast refractories for the glass industry. It was founded in early 2016, and is located in Bengbu, in the Anhui province of China, close to major glass customers and strategic suppliers.

Fused cast refractories are essential building blocks for glass furnaces, able to resist extreme conditions such as high temperatures, corrosive atmospheres and glass flow.

Critical to the performance and lifetime of furnaces, they are key to support the glass industry in achieving carbon-neutrality.

Sefpro has been present in China since 1991 with a fused cast refractory plant in Beijing to solar, flat, container, speciality and display glass markets.

In 2005, a sintered refractory plant was started up in Linyi – mainly dedicated to reinforcement fiber and speciality glass markets. Since 2005, both plants have relied on the R&D expertise of Saint-Gobain Research Shanghai (SGRS).

The joint venture with AFR is the next step for Sefpro’s development in China.

It said it will be better positioned to support the growth of the domestic glass industry and to provide solutions to Chinese customers.

Laurent Cohen-Scali, Sefpro Vice President, said: “High-performance refractories are key to decarbonise the glass industry, in line with our mission to achieve carbon neutrality. The joint venture with AFR will support this decisive transition.”