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Ferroglobe says looking at possible restart of Alabama silicon furnaces


Move comes amid record silicon prices

Restart would bring 22,000 mt/year online

Ferroglobe is considering the restart of its idled 22,000 mt/year silicon metal facility in Selma, Alabama, to take advantage of strong market fundamentals, the Spanish company said Sept. 29.

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"Ferroglobe is one of the few silicon metal producers with meaningful idled capacity which can be restarted globally," CEO Marco Levi said in a statement. "In light of favorable market conditions in North America heading into 2022, the Selma facility will be an important asset in our US silicon platform going forward."

The Platts US 553-silicon price increased to $1.90-$2.20/lb, delivered Midwest, Sept. 22, the most recent assessment, from $1.62-$1.67/lb a week earlier. Platts US silicon prices are up by nearly $1 since the start of the year and have reached an all-time high.

Globe is now working with state and local representatives in Alabama to secure tax credits that "would help offset commissioning costs and enable the company to acquire and upgrade equipment to begin production of silicon metal," Ferroglobe said.

The Selma facility consists of two furnaces and is operated by Ferroglobe subsidiary Globe Metallurgical.

Pending the discussions with local representatives, Globe plans to restart one furnace in December and the second furnace by March 2022.