THE construction of a state-of-the-art float glass manufacturing factory in Mkiu Village, Mkuranga District, Coast Region has reached 90 per cent completion.
The facility implies a significant milestone in the region’s industrial landscape and is poised to redefine the glass manufacturing sector in the country.
With its advanced technology, the factory is set to bolster the local economy and provide employment opportunities while contributing to the growth of the Coast Region.
Construction of the project commenced last year and the factory is set to start production in September this year, promising a significant boost to various sectors.
During a recent visit to the project site, the Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office-Investment, Dr Tausi Kida lauded the remarkable progress made, emphasising that upon completion, the establishment will reign as the largest float glass factory in East and Central Africa.
“Get set for a transformative era in glass production and a momentous leap forward for the nation’s economic prosperity,” she said.
With over 80 per cent of raw materials sourced locally, the factory’s operations will stimulate the domestic market, fostering economic growth and self-sufficiency.
The Sapphire Float Glass (Tanzania) Company Limited, owned by a Chinese investor, Jack Feng, responsible for the project, brings with it several economic benefits, including a reduction in Tanzania’s import bill for glass products, a surge in foreign exchange profits and expanded exports to neighbouring nations.
Among other things, when the project is complete it will be able to produce 700 tonnes of float glass, toughened glass and mirror per day at the first production line and 500 tonnes per day at the second line.
According to information provided by the company, the production capacity can meet and exceed the demand for glass in Tanzania and other neighbouring countries in East Africa, which are under the same EAC Customs Union.
“At this capacity, the company assures the government of availability of glass domestically and hence reduce reliability on imported glasses,” reads part of the company presentation to Dr Kida.
The company also submitted its proposal for the government to consider an increase of import duty rate change to 35 per cent which are currently imposed at 10 and 25 per cent.
The purpose of this change, they said, is intended to protect local manufacturers of glass and other glass products (including glass mirrors) and against cheap, substandard and undervalued imports.
It is expected to create over 1, 655 direct jobs when operations begin as well as 6,000 indirect jobs. The factory will also attract 75 million US dollars per annum as export of the product, 70 to 80 per cent of the products will be exported.
Float glass is a sheet of glass made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal like tin, but lead and other low melting point alloys were used in the past. This method gives the sheet uniform thickness and very flat surfaces.
According to Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), the project is estimated to invest more than 311 million US dollars (over 700bn/-) in foreign direct investment.
Among the company’s future business expansion plans include establishing diverse range of glass-related products in Tanzania, including glass bottles, cups, car glass and other relevant glass products.