By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Troy Township is on the list of possible sites for a new glass plant estimated to cost close to $300 million to build and furnish.
Earlier this week, paperwork was filed at the Wood County Commissioners’ Office from NSG Pilkington Glass requesting an enterprise zone agreement that would give the company a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years.
“This is not a done deal by any means,” said Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission. “They are still investigating other sites.”
The Wood County site making the short list of locations for the new plant is off Pemberville Road, just south of Garling Road, Gottschalk said. The location is south of the massive Home Depot warehouse off Pemberville Road.
The paperwork states that NSG Pilkington will create 150 jobs at the new 511,000-square-foot plant, according to Sandy Long, clerk of the county commissioners.
The total investment at the site is estimated at between $260 million and $294 million, including the construction, machinery, fixtures and inventory for the new float glass facility.
Todd Huffman, plant manager at the Rossford NSG facility, said Thursday that the company recently developed a new type of glass coating. The new transparent conductive oxide coating is thinner and lighter while being durable and resistant to chemicals. It can be widely used for solar cells, buildings, cars and various electronics and medical devices.
The Rossford plant will continue its production, but a new plant is needed to produce the transparent conductive oxide coating glass.
“We are going to be expanding in North America,” Huffman said, not elaborating on how many sites are under consideration. The request for tax abatement is just one item on a long list of criteria the company is considering for a new location.
The location will be somewhere close to Toledo, Huffman said.
“We need to be making glass for our customers in the fourth quarter of 2020,” he said. That means construction must start in the spring of 2019, Huffman explained.
Gottschalk said he is hoping the Troy Township location makes the cut for the new plant.
“It’s a great local company,” he said of NSG Pilkington. “We’d love to land this company in Wood County.”
“This is yet another example of the attractiveness of Wood County for economic development,” Gottschalk said. “We hope to get another big win for Wood County.”
Earlier this year, NSG Pilkington was named Wood County Corporate Citizen of the Year, during the annual meeting of the Wood County Economic Development Commission.
The company, one of the largest manufacturers in the glass industry, started out as Libbey-Owens-Ford – the last names of three inventors in the glass business – Edward Drummond Libbey, Michael Joseph Owens and Edward Ford. The earliest roots reach back to 1818 in England.
The mission of NSG Pilkington is to produce quality glass with world-class yields, Huffman said.
The company has 350 employees at its highly robotic float glass and advanced assembly plant in Rossford, and another 120 engineers and finance employees at its Northwood location.
The company sells to automotive customers around the world, as far away as South Korea and Turkey. The glass is also used in architecture as windows and shower doors, Huffman said.
Some of the newer uses for NSG Pilkington’s glass are found in electronics, such as touchscreens and TV displays, as solar panels, and as refrigerator doors.