By Ed Felton
From the July/August 2014 issue
Gov. Nathan Deal has announced that Valmiera Glass, a Latvia-based manufacturer of fiberglass products, will locate to Dublin, creating 150 jobs and investing $20 million within five years into its first U.S.-based headquarters and manufacturing facility.
“It is no surprise that Valmiera Glass would select Georgia for its first U.S. headquarters,” said Deal. “This project represents the first substantial investment from the former Soviet Union, which underscores the fact that Georgia’s thriving automotive and aerospace industries are gaining attention in the international marketplace. Valmiera Glass will set the stage for other companies in that region to locate to Georgia.”
Valmiera Glass will locate on 40 acres in an industrial park on I-16 in Dublin. The approximately 80,000-square-foot facility will manufacture fiberglass products for the North American market, heavily utilizing the Port of Savannah. Because its manufacturing process is highly automated, the newly created jobs will be well paid and will require well-trained candidates. Valmiera Glass will also take advantage of QuickStart, Georgia’s top-ranked workforce training program.
“The new manufacturing facility in the U.S. is a customer-oriented business development step,” said Andre Heinz Schwiontek, VP of Valmiera Glass Group. “This manufacturing facility will provide new opportunities and strengthen Valmiera Glass Group’s position in the global marketplace.”
Valmiera Glass offers a range of products including fiber production, processing and the coating of textile fiberglass structures.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Nico Wijnberg assisted the company on behalf of Georgia, along with GDEcD European Office Managing Director Antje Abshoff and Lonnie Smallwood, project manager at Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG).
As a major international producer of glass fiber fabrics for many technical applications, Valmiera Glass Group operates a quality control system that fulfills strict international requirements for a variety of industrial markets including composites, thermal and technical insulation and construction industries. Valmiera Glass Group products benefit from innovative production and application technology, plus the most up-to-date manufacturing facilities.
Valmiera Glass Group consists of two companies, Valmiera Glass UK Ltd, located in the United Kingdom and Joint-Stock company Valmieras stikla šiedra located in the city of Valmiera in Latvia. JSC Valmieras stikla š iedra and the city of Valmiera are the origins of the company’s brand name and the location of the group’s head office.
MERIDIAN 75 IS SHOVEL-READY
Meridian 75 Logistics Center, a 260-acre master-planned business park in Forsythe, GA, offers build-to-suit sites and inventory buildings that will accommodate more than 3 million square feet of flexible warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facility options. Adjacent to I-75 South, the business park is strategically located for local and regional distribution, close to convenient amenities and accessible to a quality labor force.
Meridian 75 Logistics Center is an approved Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ). As a general-warehouse FTZ, Meridian 75 can accommodate a variety of business activities, including storage, assembly, processing, testing, sampling, re-labeling, re-packaging, mixing and salvaging. A company can start FTZ activities as soon as permission (known as “activation”) is granted by U.S. Customs.
As part of the review process for a company’s activation request, a Customs Officer will conduct a facility survey. Following that survey, the Port Director will make a decision and promptly notify the applicant. Upon the Port Director’s approval of the request, the site will be considered activated, allowing merchandise passing through the facility to receive the benefits of the FTZ. The Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone will assist as needed in the activation process.