Pioneer Glass ventures into coated glass line

Published December 13, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

All Filipino-owned Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing, Inc. (PFGMI), formerly Asahi Glass, has invested over ₱100 million for a new coating glass line that would expand its product offering to cater to the growing environment-friendly glass market and compete with the cheap but substandard imported coated glass.

“We’ve invested in new machines for a new coating line to address local demand,” said Paul Vincent Go, president of PFGMI. Go said they have been accused by importers that they are now importing this particular glass product because they do not produce this kind of glass.

According to Go, the new coating glass line will have a daily production capacity of 250 tons. This will be on top of the current 550 tons daily glass production.

The new glass product called Pioneer Valiant Gray (PVG) will have a green coating making it energy-efficient because it is solar-controlled. The PVG tinted float glass is a heat absorbing transparent glass. Because it offers a superb light transmission values and reduces solar heat gain, it makes building interior relaxing and comfortable. It is also rendered in elegant shades of gray.

For a wider range of aesthetic palette, PFGMI offers two distinct gray tints with varying levels of Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) – Pioneer Valiant Gray (Euro Light) and Pioneer Valiant (Euro Dark). Both are part of PGFMI’s wide range of tinted global glass line.

This new glass falls under the tinted and reflective glass classification. This kind of glass is now being used in the construction of new buildings, particularly the LEED-certified structures.

“The coated glass market is growing,” he said.

With the new line, Go expects to match if not offer cheaper price than the imported coated glass, which standards and safety cannot be ascertained.

The new product line is expected to also boost sales of the company, which sales have gone down by as much as 50 percent due to unabated influx of imported cheap, undervalued and substandard imported glass. Go earlier said that its sales continued to drop by 40-50 percent year to date.

Go noted that illegally shipped glass products have worsened following the issuance of two injunctions from Makati and Pasay regional trial courts on Department Administrative Order 1905 of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which imposes mandatory inspection and strict monitoring of all glass products.

With the indefinite court injunctions, the DTI submitted an opposition to the courts but which was denied.

These debacles have tied the hands of the DTI to stop the entry of substandard glass and even monitor the sale of this construction material.

The only protection left for the local glass manufacturer is the provisional safeguard measure that DTI imposed in May this year to stem the surge of imported glass as it has caused serious damage to the domestic glass manufacturing industry. The DTI slapped a provisional safeguard duty of ₱2,500 per ton on imported clear glass and ₱2,800 per ton on tinted imported glass.

But Go explained that the provisional safeguard measure is for a limited time only of 200 days only. Even if the Tariff Commission will concur with the DTI decision and decides to implement a permanent safeguard duty, it still has a time limit.