Chief Executive
F.I.C. Limited, UK



Stuart C. Hakes has been in the glass industry for 66 years. He has a tertiary qualification in Glass Technology, and has spent 35 years in the operational side of glass-plants. Apart from a short stint in Europe, he returned to his native New Zealand working for Australian Consolidated Industries a glass manufacturer of flat, hollow and fibre glass products and held a number of positions in New Zealand, Australia and the Far East, culminating in General Manager for the worldwide mould operations based in China. Whilst back in New Zealand he was responsible for converting the New Zealand operation from fossil fuel to all-electric melting throughout the process.. The New Zealand plant manufactured tableware and high quality cosmetic bottles, mainly for export. He joined FIC (UK) Limited as C.E.O. in 1999 and has been there ever since guiding the company to its pre-eminent position in electric boosting of float furnaces of which FIC has installed more than 80 systems. He was also responsible for developing the water cooled bubblers that eliminate high rates of wear on the furnace floor with conventional ceramic bubbler tubes. He has led the development of hybrid all-electric furnaces for CO2 reduction to assist in reversing climate change. He is currently President of the Society of Glass Technology, finishing his term in 2023 and is active in the Glass Futures programme which is putting down a 30tpd research furnace to look at carbon reduction options. This is an International programme.

​Presentation ​

How Glass Furnaces Will Look in a De-Carbonised Future

​​​​This paper sets out the advantages and disadvantages of conventional all-electric furnaces and the limitations on their use for mainstream, commercial glass melting. The paper will look at recent developments by F.I.C. and Glass Service of Czech Republic that have produced a hybrid electric furnace suitable for the future to cover any commercial furnace size above 300tpd up to 1200-1500tpd for both flat and hollowware sectors of soda-lime glasses. The paper will examine the benefits from these hybrid furnaces and then look at the mechanisms in how it would be possible to transition slowly from the existing conventional fossil fuel fired furnaces with the minimum of disruption and cost.