Elkem Salten boost competitive position through NOK 200 million technology upgrade – temporarily stops production at one furnace due to weakened market

Elkem Salten strengthens its long-term competitive position with a NOK 200 million technology-upgrade investment. At the same time, the plant reports that it will temporarily reduce production. Temporary layoffs may become necessary.

Elkem's owners have decided to implement a comprehensive technology upgrade at Salten to improve the plant's long-term competitive position and facilitate a greater portion of the plant's production to the chemical industry. In 2012 and in the first half of 2013, Elkem will invest approx. NOK 200 million to complete the upgrade.

Temporary reduction of production

As a result of reduced industrial activity and economic uncertainty in Europe, Elkem Salten is experiencing a weak spot market for its current products. Because of this situation, the plant has decided to temporarily halt production at one of its furnaces from 15 November. The stoppage is planned to last for two months, but can become longer depending on the market development.

In an information meeting held Wednesday afternoon, employees were told that temporary layoffs may become necessary. Arve Ulriksen, plant manager at Salten, says that the number of people that may be affected by layoffs is still uncertain, but he says that they are trying to minimize the need for layoffs by using parts of the freed crew to carry out maintenance and improvement projects at the plant.

Kjell Ramsdal, Senior Vice President in Elkem Silicon Materials, understands that the announced capacity reduction may cause concern among the plant’s employees, but stresses that the long-term outlook is positive.

“Our assessments indicate that the market for silicon and ferrosilicon will pick up again. And the planned NOK 200 million upgrade will strengthen Elkem Salten’s competitiveness significantly,” says Ramsdal.

Elkem Salten supplies silicon and ferrosilicon for the European chemical and metal industries. The smelter is located in Sørfold municipality in Nordland, Norway.


Arve Ulriksen, 
Plant Manager Elkem Salten
Phone:+ 47 95 03 03 19
Email: arve.ulriksen@elkem.no

Kjell Ramsdal, 
Senior Vice President Elkem Silicon Materials
Phone: +47 91 54 80 75

Email: kjell.ramsdal@elkem.no


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