St Helens manufacturer produces enough specialist glass to cover 7000 football pitches

St Helens manufacturer produces enough specialist glass to cover 7000 football pitches

Press Release
25 Sep 2022
Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, has manufactured its 50 millionth square metre of specialist glass at its advanced coating line in St Helens, as the site marks 10 years since production began.
Pilkington UK Off-line coater at Cowley Hill

The milestone was passed after the manufacturer ramped up production to meet consistently high demand from building designers and the construction sector over the last year. 
The volume of glass produced by its OLC1 off-line* coater at Cowley Hill in the town is enough to cover 7000** football pitches.

This total includes glass that prevents heat from escaping through windows, such as Pilkington K Glass™ S, a low-emissivity glass designed to provide the highest Window Energy Rating (WER) performance and Pilkington Optitherm™ S1 Plus which is helping building designers meet increasingly tougher regulatory requirements for insulation.

The line also manufactures its Pilkington Suncool™ range of solar control glass that helps to prevent overheating in buildings by limiting the amount of energy transmitted by the sun through glazing.

The company expects to see higher demand for solar control glass in the UK as building designers mitigate against the increasing frequency of heatwaves, and work to meet new Part O regulations for overheating in new homes.

OLC1 uses advanced glass coating technology to apply added performance to float glass produced on Pilkington UK’s UK5 production line at Greengate, St Helens. UK5 recently achieved three world first trials of hydrogen and biofuel to fire a glass furnace as part of the industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Neil Syder, managing director at Pilkington UK, said: “Demand for advanced coated glass that helps to deliver better energy performance to buildings is growing as building regulations tighten and developers go above and beyond to meet their own environmental targets.

“Advanced coated glass is also solving new challenges thanks to R&D breakthroughs, from antimicrobial glass that helps to sanitise healthcare and transport settings, to glass with a special UV pattern that helps to protect wildlife by being visible to birds.

“Our OLC1 line at Cowley Hill has played an integral role over the last 10 years supplying glass that helps specifiers in the UK and internationally to give added performance to their projects, from schools in Dudley to skyscrapers in Dubai. It’s set for another busy 10 years as industry demands more performance from glass to meet major challenges like net-zero.”

The production milestone falls as the United Nations marks 2022 as the International Year of Glass, celebrating the past, present and future of glass.

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*off-line refers to a glass product where coatings that give added performance are applied on a separate line to the float glass line - where the raw materials are melted in a furnace to create glass.
**Based on a football pitch at 7,140 m²

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