Owens Corning announced that it will undertake a $30 million upgrade of its Jackson, Tenn., facility.

Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, announced that it will undertake a $30 million upgrade of its Jackson, Tenn., facility to significantly increase glass fiber capacity. The expansion of the plant, which manufactures glass primarily for mat for residential and commercial roofing products but also for specialty glass applications, will be completed by August 2004.

"As an industry leader, we're constantly evaluating our business to make certain we're adding the capacity needed to service our markets and customers, and grow with them," said Sheree Bargabos, president of Owens Corning's Exterior Systems Business. "We expect the market will continue to be robust, and this expansion is a clear reflection of our commitment to meet the industry's demands now and in the future."

The plant's expansion also reflects Owens Corning's commitment to the environment and to continually improving energy efficiency. Working with the Department of Energy and a nearly $1million DOE grant, as part of the expansion, an OC-led team is developing oxy-fuel fired technology for other parts of the glass making process, which to date, has been used only in melting. When complete, the new technology will use less natural gas and have lower C02 and NOx emissions.

"Technologies like these will improve productivity, save energy and reduce environmental impacts in many energy-intensive industries in the nation today," says Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "The Department of Energy is working closely with industry to help improve energy efficiency leading to America's energy independence."

With the conversion, the plant will produce 100 percent Owens Corning patented Advantex® Glass. In addition to using an environmentally friendly fiberglass production process, Advantex glass improves the application strength and pre-seal wind resistance of asphalt shingles vs. standard E-glass.