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$1.8m investment

Filipe Naigulevu
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

A LOCAL glass and mirror processing company remains focused on upgrading the country's building standards through innovative construction materials and products.

In doing this, the company, Island Glass & Mirror Ltd, last week launched its newly-built production in Walu Bay, Suva estimated to have been an investment worth $1.8 million.

The state-of-the-art facility, according to the company's general manager Asish Singh, is an automated one which will complement their production portfolio of internal and external specialist architectural glass.

But the company is particularly targeting to fully penetrate their production and distribution of cyclone resistant glass in the Fijian market through an exclusive partnership with New Zealand-based company Glasshape.

Mr Singh said they were the distributors of StomShield, a fully certified cyclone glass by Glasshape featuring a superior laminating technology that out-performs the competitive set with thinner and lighter glass make-ups.

These glasses are designed accordingly to meet the windload requirements, and the debris impact resistant requirements for cyclonic wind regions.

"We have designed this facility in the most modern way possible for Fiji. What we have got is a full sort of automated set-up that now makes processing of glass easier and faster with less human engagement," Mr Singh told this newspaper in an interview last week.

"At the same time we have strengthened our partnership with Glasshape which is probably the most well recognised cyclonic glass and this is relevant to Fiji which has tropical climate and is prone to cyclones.

"Our partnership with them is also aimed at strengthening the building industry here in Fiji so that we are able to provide a resilient product at a decent price but it is fully tested and complies to the country's building standards."

Mr Singh said the new facility also boosted their production turnaround times, which would enable them to engage in more and larger projects.

"We are also able to handle bigger projects and deliver results at a faster time," Mr Singh said.

"We have already two automatic cutting tables that's already in the factory, polishing machines and overhead cranes adding to our equipment range," he said.

"Now we are also going into curved glasses as well, toughened glasses, and printed glasses."

The new production facility also marks a significant milestone in the local family-owned company since its early and humble beginnings in 1999.

To celebrate this, the launch featured clients, corporate and residential customers, including stakeholders, who witnessed a live testing of ASN1170 accredited cyclone resistant glass at the new facility last Thursday.

"We opened our doors back in April 1999 … quite humble beginnings, and like any other company, the more you grow, the more things get better," Mr Singh said.

"When we started off, we were more focused at upgrading our standards in buildings in Fiji, so with this new facility now we are anticipating a lot of more work."

Island Glass & Mirror Ltd also distributes a comprehensive portfolio which includes toughened (tempered) glass, safety and security laminates (including cyclonic, flood, ballistic, attack and impact resistant) and digitally printed ceramic ink solutions.

The company has also worked on major projects which include the Momi Bay development, ANZ House Fiji and the redevelopments of Albert Park in Suva and the Nadi International Airport.

It also has 15 staff members in their Suva facility and Lautoka office with more employment anticipated.

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