NEW YORK Norwegian ferrosilicon
producer Elkem AS will shut down a furnace at its Salten
operations on Dec. 15 due to deteriorating economic
conditions and weak demand in the European marketplace,
the company said Thursday.
The furnace will be modified to enable a
switch from ferrosilicon to silicon production by summer 2013,
according to Elkem.
The company is also planning to take another
furnace offline in the first quarter of next year if
market prices remain at current levels.
Elkem has already idled a furnace at its
Bremanger works in November, and it will remain offline until
market conditions improve, according to the
In total, the company plans to cut about 15,000
tonnes of ferrosilicon production capacity per quarter,
according to the statement.
The current ferrosilicon price is at a
non-sustainable level. With the current market price for power,
it is better to shut down furnaces than produce
ferrosilicon, Thomas Fredrik-Næss, vice president
of sales and marketing for ferrosilicon, said in a statement.
Domestic ferrosilicon prices recently softened to between 87
and 89 cents per pound compared with 96 to 97 cents per pound