CHICAGO A new
Grupo FerroAtlántica SA silicon metal plant in Quebec
could include six furnaces with a total capacity of up to
100,000 tonnes per year, market sources told AMM.
Shawinigan is the
front-runner for what would be a large silicon metal operation,
two sources familiar with the project said, noting that the
site of an idled Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. smelter offers good
access to power.
aluminum producer had been looking to sell its smelter and
casthouse in Shawinigan, about half way between Montreal and
Quebec City (
amm.com, Aug. 20). FerroAtlántica expressed
an interest in acquiring the smelter last fall, market sources
said, adding that the building housing the now-idled smelter
could be used for a silicon metal plant after reduction cells
for making aluminum are removed.
A Rio Tinto spokesman
had no comment on FerroAtlánticas possible
interest in the site, and FerroAtlántica did not respond
to a request for comment Feb. 4.
Quebec Premier Pauline
Maroiswho announced last month in Davos, Switzerland,
that the plant would be in Quebecis expected to be in
Shawinigan Feb. 6 to make an announcement, perhaps about
FerroAtlántica locating in the city, sources said.
Shawinigan is competing with the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region
of Quebec for the project, they added.
was not available for comment.
is an important source of imported silicon in the United
States, market sources said, and an operation in Canada,
expected to begin production in late 2016, would make the
company a significant domestic player in North America.
The development also
could represent a setback for New York-based Globe Specialty
Metals Inc., market sources said. Globe is currently the only
domestic producer of silicon metal in the region, but that
status is being challenged, they added.
In the United States,
Mississippi Silicona partnership between the Vicintin
family, which owns Bocaiúva, Brazil-based Rima
Industrial SA, and Clean Tech I LLC, a U.S. investment group
whose members include steel industry veteran John
Correntiplans to spend $200 million to build a
36,000-tonne-per-year silicon metal plant in Burnsville, Miss.
amm.com, Jan. 2). Groundbreaking took place
mid-January and production is expected to begin as soon as
2015, market sources said.
Globe, which also owns
Quebec Silicon LP, pushed Chinese imports out of the market
with a trade petition (
amm.com, Nov. 19), but fending off competition
from Canada could prove more difficult, market sources
Some consumer sources
said they welcomed the prospect of more choice in domestic
suppliers, while others said it remained to be seen whether
either project would be completed and that, in any case,
neither would be a factor in the market until at least
plans to spend $375 million to build a new silicon metal plant
in Quebec. The Madrid-based silicon producer, owned by
Spains Villar Mir Group, chose Quebec in part because of
its abundant and potentially cheap power, Marois said in a
release from Investissement Quebec, a provincial development
corporation. "Our large surpluses and the possibility of
setting lower rates were decisive factors in the companys
decision," she said.
The project also could
benefit from a vertically integrated production chain in the
province, including waste wood and possible new quartz mines in
Quebec, Investissement Quebec said.
"We concluded that
Québec had all the necessary ingredients for the
construction of a competitive plant," FerroAtlántica
president and chief executive officer Pedro Larrea said in a
statement. "We visited and considered several interesting
sites, and we should be confirming our final choice in the