SPECIALIST glass maker Romag is to more than double the production capacity of its PowerGlaz range in a move that will lead to "significant" job creation at its North-East base.

The company, which reported an 80 per cent increase in half-year PowerGlaz turnover earlier this year to £2.1m, announced yesterday it is to raise £7.7m through a share placing to fund the expansion of its site in Consett, County Durham.

Romag is already in the process of installing new equipment to boost production of photovoltaic glass PowerGlaz, which converts the sun's rays into electricity, from 4MW a year to 12MW.

But now, the company plans to install two more production lines to boost that to 28MW a year, in a scheme which is due to be completed by summer next year.

The company has frequently reported that demand for PowerGlaz outweighs production capacity, and the global market for energy efficient products is estimated to be growing at about 40 per cent a year.

Amongst the major deals Romag has struck for its PowerGlaz range is a £60m deal over five years, with the first deliveries due in September.

Romag's share price surged yesterday on the back of the expansion announcement, closing up 7.50 per cent at 178.50p.

Lyn Miles, chief executive of the Consett company, said as well as more than doubling production, there would also be new jobs added to Romag's 160-strong workforce.

"The global photovoltaic market is expanding dramatically, which is already being reflected in the demand placed on Romag for its PowerGlaz products, and it is this future growth of the market we have in mind," she said.

"The Romag brand is now coming up on the radar as a company that can provide solutions to people's requirements for photovoltaic panels - to help us accommodate that, we have to invest in our capacity.

"And through increasing our capacity, jobs will also increase - although it is difficult to say how many that will be, it is safe to say employee numbers will increase quite significantly."