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Elkem enters into joint venture for ferrosilicon production in Paraguay

To obtain a strategic foothold in South America, Elkem has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with the Argentinean investors Grupo Andreani and Grupo Araujo to build a new ferrosilicon plant close to the Paraguayan capitol, Asuncion. The new plant will create around 100 new jobs. Building will start immediately and the plant is scheduled to start production in Q2 2015.

On the evening of 12 February, Senior Vice President in Elkem Foundry Jean Villeneuve announced the news at a business event at hotel Guarani in Asuncion, Paraguay. Villeneuve informed government officials and the other participants about the project plans and of why Elkem wants to build in Paraguay together with the Argentinean partners:

“South America is one of the largest and fastest growing markets for ferrosilicon products. By building this plant, we will acquire a local presence in a growing market and obtain an important strategic foothold for further development of our business. With access to local raw materials and sustainable hydropower, Paraguay is for us a perfect place in which to develop our business,” says Villeneuve.

Best available technology and operational excellence
Building of the new plant will start immediately, and production of ferrosilicon is scheduled to start in Q2 2015. The Paraquayan plant will in the first phase consist of one ferrosilicon furnace, but the joint venture has plans to expand in the South American country in the future.

“We have access to the best available technology and we will utilize our organization’s knowledge to the full during building and in operations of the Paraguayan plant. We know we will be competitive in the region. Based on the outlook for growth in the global market, we are already now actively evaluating further expansions of the business,” says Villeneuve.

Local jobs and raw materials
The plant will create around 100 direct jobs, but Villeneuve also points out that the ferrosilicon production will create many indirect jobs as well.

“One important reason for choosing to build in Paraguay is local access to raw materials we need in our production process, such as quartz and charcoal. Using local raw materials will create additional jobs for people in this region.”

Joint venture agreement
The ferrosilicon plant is founded through a joint venture between Elkem and Argentinean investors Grupo Andreani and Grupo Arauju.

Grupo Araujo is a family group specialized in construction and assembly of heavy equipment for steel plants with customers all over America and Europe. They have interests in agriculture, commercialization of steel products and are investing in a ferroalloy plant in Mendoza, Argentina Grupo Andreani is a family group investing in the petroleum industry, agro industry (olive oil), and hotel and entertainments industry, amongst others. Grupo Andreani is the owner of the Hotel Guaraní in Asuncion, Paraguay.

For more information, contact:

Jean Villeneuve Senior Vice President Elkem Foundry,
tel. + 1 (418) 557-0171
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