Due to be completed by the summer of 2009, the new facility will double capacity and supply products with higher purity than is possible today. The expansion will provide 10-15 jobs.
Elkem Materials ranks as a leading global supplier of special microsilica for advanced applications worldwide. While the first building phase in 2006 laid the basis for upgrading products from Elkem Salten, the extension will particularly enhance the level of processing for these demanding customers.
“The combination of technology developed in-house, close contact with the market and production expertise at Elkem Salten allows us to make this commitment,” says Harald Schreiner, project manager for the new plant.
“We’re now installing our groundbreaking technology in a full-scale facility for the first time, and the market is showing great interest in what we can offer.”
With the new plant in operation, Elkem Salten will be the largest global supplier of special silica to a demanding market.
“This is a big challenge for the organisation and a significantly larger project than the plant which was built in 2006,” says Børge Imingen, head of Elkem Materials’ local organisation in Salten. “We’re dependent on good local suppliers and competent and committed employees. I have no doubt that we’ll succeed with this project and thereby further strengthen Elkem’s operations here.”
Elkem Salten is currently achieving good results. Metals prices are rising, and the last of its three furnaces has been brought back on line after being shut down since 2005.
“But we know that things can change quickly,” says newly appointed plant manager Arve Ulriksen. “We must therefore strengthen the plant by working steadily on improvements in health, safety and the environment, in production processes and products, and in innovation.
“Fortunately, we can benefit from the good times and want to demonstrate to our customers and owners that we’re also viable when conditions become difficult.
“This means we must show that we’re capable of delivering products which few if any others can supply, so that we have demand and good results regardless of the business cycle.
“Backed by a long-term approach from the government and our owners, we’re making a commitment to developing both the plant and our employees.”