Verallia’s Cognac plant has celebrated the restarting of one of the factory’s three furnaces, the one specialised in producing very high quality extra-flint glass.

Verallia said the €12m investment further strengthens its territorial anchoring in Charente and its leadership as the reference glassmaker on the dynamic Cognac market.

Work on modernising the furnace lasted less than two months and mobilised around fifty business partners. The furnace and its four production lines were refurbished to increase the facility’s extra-flint output and flexibility.

The result of a long industrial history initiated in 1878 by Claude Boucher, inventor of the first glass-blowing machine, Verallia’s Cognac plant today serves three main markets: still wines, sparkling wines, and Cognac and spirits. Most Cognac producers, regardless of their size and their positioning opt for extra-flint glass, a colour unrivalled in terms of transparency and shine.

Verallia saids the investment further strengthens its foothold in the Charente region of France where it employs 430 people in four manufacturing sites (glassmaking plant, the Everglass household glass treatment site, René Salomon facilities, Société Charentaise de décor acquired in April 2017).

“With this new installations, we are increasing our capacity, our flexibility – notably for the production of large containers up to 4.5l, and our quality control. We have also taken care of the working conditions for our teams: the lines are now equipped with hoists to reduce load-carrying, the site’s ventilation has been enhanced and we have refurbished the furnace control cabin at the hot end,” stated Christian Garnaud, Verallia Cognac’s plant manager.

During the traditional furnace lighting ceremony, the furnace was symbolically relit by Véronique Martial, PA at the plant, and Patrick Bernardet, furnace rebuild project leader at Verallia, who are now respectively the furnace’s godmother and godfather.

Pic source: ©Verallia, Stéphane Charbeau – sept 2017