Elkem restarts one of three furnaces at its silicon plant in Salten, Norway, while other two furnaces will be halted until further notice; outages are related to a fire outbreak on Dec. 10

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January 29, 2024 (press release) –

Elkem is today re-starting one out of three furnaces at its silicon plant in Salten, Norway. Production will remain halted at the two other furnaces until further notice.

A fire broke out at the Salten plant in Norway on 10 December 2023.  The fire started in a building housing raw material, including carbon materials. It was under control by emergency services and mostly extinguished within 24 hours. No people were injured. 

Following the incident, Elkem has been working together with external parties for some weeks to map the damages and plan for necessary repairs.

“Unfortunately, the system for mixing and transportation of raw materials to two of our furnaces require more restoration, and we are in the process to prepare for this work. However, we are pleased that the raw material systems to one of our furnaces was less damaged in the fire, and that we have been able to put in place temporary measures to re-start production," says Ove Sørdahl, plant manager for Elkem Salten.

One furnace is restarting on 29 January 2024 and production will gradually be ramping up. The two other furnaces remain out and their respective start-up dates are yet to be confirmed.

“I sincerely want to thank all of the people who have helped us in this extraordinary period to help us protect health, safety and the environment, first of all, and also getting us to this stage where we can re-start some of our production of important materials for the green and digital transitions. We know this progress is important both for our customers, for Elkem and for the entire Salten community," says Sørdahl.

Elkem Salten is located in Straumen, in the Sørfold municipality in Nordland county in the north of Norway. It is one of the world's largest and most modern silicon plants exporting silicon and silica fume products worldwide. The plant has around 200 employees. With its three furnaces, the plant has an annual production capacity of 128,000 mt, of which silicon capacity is 80,000.

Elkem has adequate insurance cover for property damage and business interruption.

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Dan Rivard
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