Elkem Solar’s technology for the production of solar-grade silicon will be industrialised. Orkla has increased its stake in the Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC). The investments in solar energy amount to approximately NOK 10 billion. These changes are a result of the historical background that became part of Orkla with the takeover of Elkem.
Since Elkem began its cooperation with Alcoa in 1963, value-added aluminium has been a potential area of focus. Since 1980, investments have been made in utilising our silicon expertise to expand in the field of solar energy. These investments accelerated after 2000 with the acquisition of a majority interest in Sapa, intensified focus on research at Elkem Solar and the purchase of shares in REC. With these changes, we have taken on a great deal of responsibility.
Substantial funds have been invested, and following the takeover of the majority share in Alcoa’s profile business we will have several thousand new employees. With Alcoa, we will establish a new, leading, global company based on two more or less equally large companies with different corporate cultures. During the merger process, we must not lose our focus on our customers, or on growth.
Building the organisation, industrialising the new technology and at the same time preparing for strong growth if the industrialisation process succeeds will be a challenge for Elkem Solar. We have assumed an obligation to our shareholders and employees to work hard in future; we must be more cost-effective and at the same time maintain a high rate of growth. Through our operations, we must now realise the potential we have paved the way for through investments and structural changes.
Ole Enger, Executive Vice President, Orkla ASA