The furnace now being taken out of production will be turned off on 9 February and remain shut down for six weeks. Further layoffs have also been notified.
According to plant manager Arve Ulriksen, Elkem Salten is currently experiencing a very difficult market. It has already shut down furnace 2 in response to the slump for aluminium.
The present decision has been taken following the postponement of orders under the plant’s long-term contracts with the chemical sector.
“Our biggest customer has notified a 30 per cent cut in orders for the first quarter,” says Mr Ulriksen. “Other customers have also warned of reductions under existing agreements.”
In connection with the information meeting held on Monday afternoon for employees, Salten Verk has announced a further increase in layoffs.
Mr Ulriksen explains that this will involve in the order of 50 employees, but could depend on the government’s recently announced aid measures.
If his hopes of financing an expertise development programme through this package are fulfilled, the layoff notification will be withdrawn for its present recipients.