SGD Pharma celebrated the lighting of furnace number 2 at its Saint Quentin La Motte plant, northern France.

More than 70 people attended the inauguration ceremony for the all electric furnace.

The project leader Mme Marie Lurquin (pictured) had the honour of lighting up the new furnace at the ceremony as she was named the ‘Marraine’ - godmother of the furnace.

The furnace will produce borosilicate Type 1 glass for the pharmaceutical industry and was installed after nearly 40 days of rebuild work.

The furnace was rebuilt by the plant’s staff – with help from external contractors - and the capacity had increased by 10% of the previous furnace’s 300 million vials a year.

Saint Quentin La Motte Plant Manager, Christophe Rogier, said he was proud of the team.

“We have some very experienced and experimental people within both the group and the plant so we were able to manage this project.

“I’m very proud because we have a beautiful plant and we are very proud of this first rebuild of the furnace. The restart was very good and we have reached high production standards in very few days. We were inside the budget and we built it four to five days ahead of schedule.

“The team did a great job and I have already had great feedback from our customers who have visited.”

The company decided to use an electric furnace after a successful experience of a similar furnace at its former Mers le Bains plant, supplied from furnace group Fives.

The Saint Quentin plant produces vials dedicated to the injectable, nasal needs and baby bottles sector. Its main geographical markets are Europe and the USA.