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Verescence renovates glassworks at Mers-les-Bains

01 Dec 2017 | Front page, Investment

The world’s leading maker of luxury glass bottles has earmarked €30 million to revamp its sites in Hauts-de-France. First up: an overhaul of the glassworks’ largest furnace, now completed.

investment, glass production, luxury goods

In search of excellence

Already the world’s leading producer of bottles and flasks used by the luxury goods industry, glassmaker Verescence aims to consolidate its position and become the world benchmark for glassware used for cosmetics. Whence Excellence 2018, a €100 million global upgrade launched in 2016. Nearly one-third of the program’s total budget—€30 million—is earmarked for Verescence’s French plant at Mers-les-Bains, underscoring the site’s key role in the group’s international strategy.

The Mers 2018 initiative focuses on upgrading capital equipment, but will also improve working conditions and incorporate a CSR (corporate social responsibility) component.

This investment program is scheduled for completion in 2018, and will equip Verescence will to deliver excellence across the board:

- for customers—ever higher quality and service, including a supply chain offering optimum timing, innovation and customer service

- for employees—improved working conditions and quality of life, including a company canteen, more ergonomic equipment and restructured production lines.

- for the environment—improved and more eco-friendly production facilities

All-new glass furnace a win-win

One of the Excellence 2018 program’s largest single investments was an €11 million reconstruction of furnace #6 at Mers-les-Bains.

The furnace is one of the largest in the world, producing 700,000 flasks and bottles a day on six production lines. Products include Verescence’s renowned “extra-white” flasks that are popular with luxury brands from Prada to Lancôme, Hermès and Dior.

Furnace life is estimated at 10 years, so the rebuild was necessary. But Verescence used it to install cutting-edge technology that improves production while reducing energy consumption by 15% and CO2 emissions by 40%.

Company profile

The Verescence group is owned by US investment fund Oaktree. It has four glass production sites and five finishing sites around the globe—in France, Spain, the USA and Brazil. Hauts-de-France is home to a glassworks in Mers-les-Bains and a finishing facility in Abbeville.

The group has 2,950 employees, including 820 at Mers-les-Bains, and produces one million bottles and flasks a year, 200 million at Mers-les-Bains. Most sold to clients in the perfume and cosmetics sectors.<xml></xml>

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