AGC announced its consolidated subsidiary, AGC Glass Europe (AGEU), has signed a letter of intent with Obeikan Glass Company, a Saudi Arabian glass manufacturer, to establish a solar control glass coating joint venture.

The processing line for temperable solar control glass coating will be built in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, where Obeikan Glass already operates the largest float glass plant in the Gulf region, according to the company. Operations are scheduled to start in early 2016.

“This joint venture not only assists in the selective roll-out of our own technology, already enriched through our recent alliance with the German company Interpane, it also helps to extend the distribution of our range of coated products developed through advanced research,” says Jean-François Heris, CEO of AGEU.

According to AGC, in recent years, the architectural glass market in the Middle East has grown at an annual rate of approximately 4 percent. The company expects demand for high-performance architectural glass to rise continuously in the region, particularly due to increased demand for solar control glass.

“Having a float glass plant with a glass coating plant downstream from it on the same site will help us to keep tight control of quality, to optimize the production and logistics costs, and to achieve higher margins,” says Abdallah Obeikan, CEO of Obeikan Investment Group.

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