Owens Corning and IKO Form JV to Manufacture Glass Fiber Mat
TOLEDO, Ohio, March 30 - Owens Corning (NYSE:OWC) and IKO Industries announced today that the two companies will invest $50 million to build the world's largest glass fiber mat facility in Danville, Ill., with a start-up date scheduled for June, 2001. The new facility, which will be called FIBERTEQ LLC, is a joint venture between Owens Corning and IKO. Each company has a 50% share in the manufacturing joint venture, which was initially announced in September 1999.
FIBERTEQ will employ the latest technology to manufacture high quality wet-formed glass fiber mat used mainly in the production of asphalt roofing shingles. When fully operational, the plant will have an estimated capacity of 90 million csf (hundred-square-feet). The plant's state-of-the-art machinery is the only one in the world capable of producing mat 5 meters wide (16.4 feet) and in a 234-centimeter (92 inches) roll. This unique roll size, as well as superior process control, will provide customers with enhanced productivity and consistency.
"Through the FIBERTEQ capacity addition, Owens Corning will be able to support the growth in demand for roofing mat," said Yoram Knoop, general manager, Owens Corning Composites Systems Business. "We plan to utilize the additional capacity to support the increasing needs of both our external roofing customers and the Owens Corning Roofing Systems Business. Additionally, the product produced at FIBERTEQ will meet customers' increasing demands for higher levels of quality. Our partnership with IKO will leverage the strengths and market presence of the individual companies."
David Koschitzky of IKO Industries said that IKO intends to use the glass fiber mat produced at FIBERTEQ as captive supply to support the expansion of their manufacturing operations and the increasing demand for glass fiber reinforced roofing products in Canada and the United States.
Owens Corning employee John Sowels has been named plant leader for FIBERTEQ. Sowels, who joined the company in 1992, most recently served as production operations leader at the Santa Clara, Calif., insulation plant. He has also worked as an engineer at Owens Corning's Aiken, S.C., composites facility. He has a Bachelors of Science in Ceramic Engineering.
FIBERTEQ will be governed by a board of directors to include Yoram Knoop, general manager, Owens Corning Composites Systems Business; Bob Franco, vice president, marketing, Owens Corning Exterior Systems Business; David Koschitzky of IKO Industries; and Henry Koschitzky of IKO Industries.
FIBERTEQ will utilize Owens Corning's wet-chopped glass fiber (WUCS) and mat technology. In response to strong demand during 1999, Owens Corning added WUCS capacity in Amarillo, Texas, and continues to manufacture the glass in Anderson, S.C., and in a dedicated facility in Jackson, Tenn. Owens Corning's existing wet-formed glass fiber mat lines in Aiken, S.C., and Ft. Smith, Ark., will operate independently of the FIBERTEQ facility.
IKO is a large producer of roofing products, with offices and factories in Canada, the United States and Europe. The company's Web site can be found at http://www.iko.com .
Owens Corning is a world leader in building materials systems and composites systems. The company has sales of $5 billion and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit Owens Corning's Web site at http://www.owenscorning.com .
Contact: Janet L. Galecki, Media Relations, 419-248-7556, or Jules Vinnedge, Investor Relations, 419-248-7377, both of Owens Corning