Published April 10, 2023
Article 2 - Electrification of furnaces picture
Article 2 – Electrification of furnaces


Our world is facing major challenges, especially climate change, and scarcity of natural resources. Those challenges offer huge opportunities for Saint-Gobain Vetrotex to have a positive impact on the planet and on everyone’s life.

During our last edition, we presented how we are preserving our water ressouces at our Xico plant, but our efforts don't stop there, to decarbonize our factories.

Back to czech republic where the preparations are being made for the electrification of our furnace!

 The electrification of our furnace will help to tackle the decarbonization by offering even more energy-efficient and low carbon emission. 

Among the biggest emitters, we find the melting furnace and feeders. Feeders are thin lines that carry the molten glass out of the furnace to the bushing and fiberizing. 10-15% of our total CO2 emissions are coming from feeders.  

At Litomysl, our biggest plant in Czech Republic, 85 000 tons of molten glass/year are produced, which represents 37 000 tons of CO2 emission. During the glass manufacturing, the hot glass is transferred to the main channel to the forehearth where it is formed. As of today, it is heated by natural gaz and generates 2 900 tons of C02 emission.  

“We are working to decrease our industrial footprint in all areas: wastewater, waste production and C02 emission, which is seen as a significant opportunity. We are facing constraints given by European regulation and also constant increase of C02 emission costs. Today, we have to pay 100 €/ tons of C02 emission. This year, one of our furnace at Litomysl plant will go through a major repair and our pilot project will be to test the conversion from gaz heating to electrical heating. The expected reduction of C02emission is up to 20%” explains Jan Kabrhel, Technical Director, at Czech republic plants.  

This pilot project has started in 2018, but the conversion can be done only during the cold stop of the furnace. This technology will be installed on one of our furnace at Litomysl plant before the end year. Therefore, we are expecting a correct evaluation of the project by the end of 2023.

 If the project is successful at Litomysl plant, similar electrifications will be implemented in all new furnace rebuilds and will contribute to reduce our CO2 emissions.