AGC Glaverbel Roux
THE ABANDONED GLASS FACTORY IN BELGIUM
This is the ‘AGC Glaverbel Roux’ factory, the oldest glass furnace in Belgium. It was abandoned in 2015 and was demolished the following years.
The Roux factory produced glass with an embossed pattern and glass for solar panels. Glaverbel was founded in 1961 in Belgium out of the merger of Glaver S.A. (Glaces et Verres) and Univerbel S.A. (Union des Verreries Mécaniques Belges). In 1972 the French ‘Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel’ group gained control over Glaverbel. The company started with a restructuring program and specialized into glass processing in 1974. Glaverbel was the first western industrial company to invest in Czechoslovakia. Also in 1997 the company was the first western glass producer to invest in Russia. Meanwhile, in 2002, the Asahi Glass Company, or AGC, acquired the whole of Glaverbel.
Glaverbel Roux already carried out important modifications to its production line in 2004. They were aimed at bringing its output capacity into line with the demand for products in large dimensions. In 2007 the patterned glass furnace was fired up once more after a complete makeover. All in all, works on the furnace lasted three months. Also, the two production lines for the finished products were modernized. In 2009, Glaverbel was renamed AGC Glass Europe.
The production in Roux was closed down in 2015. As a result of the economic recession. It is important to realize the European glass market has suffered heavily from the large-scale imports from China. Consequently, this led to a big drop in sales prices, which caused the European solar glass industry to collapse. As a result, 185 employees became jobless. I visited the abandoned ‘AGC Glaverbel Roux’ in 2016.