Mexican manufacturer Vitro is to increase its furnace capacity at its Vidriera Querétaro Plant with a $50 million investment.

Once it has made the conversion the furnace will be the largest of its kind in Latin America and will increase container production capacity by 9%.

It has spent $120 million in the past three years on major repairs on its three Vidriera Querétaro furnaces to increase capacity and lengthen its useful life.

Jesús Zubiría Luque, Vitro VP Soda Lime Glass Containers said: “The production capacity of the plant is 250 thousand tonnes per day, now that the VQ1 furnace has expanded its capacity from 400 to 440 tonnes and it can still grow given that this furnace has the capacity to melt over 500 tonnes per day.”

He remembered that this furnace started operating when the plant in Querétaro started its operations on October, 1979.

“Back then, it had a production capacity of 330 tons per day and as it has been given maintenance, it has grown, first to 400 tonnes and this time to 440 with the option to reach 500 tonnes per day with a useful life of 12 years. This means producing 2.6 million containers per day, enough to fill 20 beer distributing trucks.”

The decision to increase the production capacity for containers in this furnace is a result of the market situation for containers and its operation requires the work of 280 operating personnel.

Eduardo Servín Coss, Vidriera Querétaro plant manager, said the plant represents 31% of the company’s production in this segment. “85% of the production of this plant is used for the domestic market, while 15% is for exports”.

Vidriera Querétaro is one of 10 production centres of Vitro’s Containers business unit and has three furnaces and 12 production lines with a joint melting capacity of 1,250 tons per day, meaning more than 6.5 million pieces per day.”