London-based silicon metal, silicon-based alloys and manganese-based specialty alloys producer Ferroglobe has plans to restart its 55 000 t/y silicon metal facility in Polokwane, in South Africa.
Strong market demand for silicon metal is the driver behind Ferroglobe’s strategic plan to increase its capacity of silicon metal through the restart of the Polokwane facility.
The company expects to start production of the three-furnace operation in November, with initial production of about 1 150 t a month, gradually ramping up to about 3 750 t a month by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
The Polokwane facility provides a lower-cost source of silicon metal using competitive energy rates, an efficient asset base and a strategic location that can serve customers in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia.
In addition, the decision to restart the plant was contingent on Ferroglobe’s ability to secure multiyear contracts with strategic customers, which are currently being finalised.
CEO Marco Levi says the company’s Polokwane facility is a key part of its global asset footprint that enables Ferroglobe the flexibility to serve customers efficiently and effectively around the world.
“[The] facility is strategically important as we [enhance] our production geographically in response to the energy crises in Europe.”