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Elkem Foundry plant based on charcoal opens in Paraguay

First Foundry plant for Elkem in Latin America

Elkem AS

Limpio, Paraguay, 22 August 2018Today Elkem ASA celebrated the opening of a new plant for foundry products in Limpio, Paraguay. This plant is the first foundry plant for Elkem in Latin America, and it is a new and exciting chapter for the Group.

The plant is situated in Limpio, 25 km from Asunción, the capital of Paraguay and it has been built in alignment with Elkem´s strategy for expansion in South America. 
The start-up of the plant was in March 2018. Many improvements were made to achieve the full expected production of FeSi at the beginning of August for the international iron and steel industry.

These incredible achievements were recognised and celebrated during the official opening ceremony today. On the day of the ceremony, the President of Paraguay, Mr. Mario Abdo Benítez, honoured Elkem Limpio with his presence to celebrate the opening together with Elkem staff and managers, as well as local and national government officials.

Based on sustainable production
The production is mainly based on local raw materials and hydroelectric power from the Itaipu powerplant. With the focus on sustainability the plant is working towards using 100 per cent of charcoal as reductant for the furnace and eucalyptus chips to allow the proper porosity to the charge. The quartz is being extracted locally, respecting the local legislation and the environmental requirements.

Elkem ASA CEO Helge Aasen appreciated the hard work done by the team to improve the plant to meet Elkem’s high quality and sustainable standards: “This is a big day for all of Elkem. To open a brand-new plant in Latin America is an important milestone for us. Also, Elkem’s long term goal is to achieve carbon neutral metal production. The Limpio plant challenges and inspires the rest of the company to meet our climate and sustainability strategies”.

SVP Foundry products division, M Jean Villeneuve, commented: “This has been an adventure that would have never been possible without the dedication of a lot of people in the organization starting from engineering work and support throughout the project up to the tremendous effort from the plant operation group to ramp up the plant”.

General Manager of Elkem Paraguay, Mr. Osvaldo Almeida, added: “Limpio is a pioneer plant within Elkem and in Paraguay. It is the first foundry Elkem plant in Latin America, the first 100% biocarbon fed plant in Elkem globally and it is the first ferroalloy industry in the country”.

Elkem Limpio has 100 employees and 1 arc-furnace with 11.5MW-15MVA, which generates an annual capacity of 11.000 metric ton. The plant will mainly serve the South American market for ferrosilicon and foundry-alloys.

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