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Elkem holds official opening in Paraguay for first biocarbon fed foundry

One of the world’s leading suppliers of silicon-based advanced materials, Norway-headed Elkem ASA, has held an official opening of a new plant for foundry products in Limpio, Paraguay. Officiated by the President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez, it is the first foundry plant for Elkem in Latin America, and the first 100 percent biocarbon fed plant in Elkem globally – in alignment with Elkem's sustainability goals and strategy for expansion in South America.

Elkem has officially opened its first foundry in Latin America. Officiated by the President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez, the 11 000 tonne-per-annum plant in Limpio, Paraguay is the first 100 percent biocarbon fed plant in Elkem globally and it is the first ferroalloy industry in the country (photo courtesy Presidencia de la República del Paraguay).

Situated in Limpio, 25 km from Asunción, the capital of Paraguay the inauguration was officiated by the President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez together with Elkem staff and managers, as well as local and national government officials.

This is a big day for all of Elkem. To open a brand-new plant in Latin America is an important milestone for us. Also, Elkem’s long term goal is to achieve carbon-neutral metal production. The Limpio plant challenges and inspires the rest of the company to meet our climate and sustainability strategies, said Helge Aasen, CEO, Elkem.

The start-up of the plant was in March 2018 with the full production capacity of ferrosilicon (FeSi) alloys for the international iron and steel industry reached at the beginning of August.

This has been an adventure that would have never been possible without the dedication of a lot of people in the organization starting from engineering work and support throughout the project up to the tremendous effort from the plant operation group to ramp up the plant, said Jean Villeneuve, SVP Foundry Products, Elkem.

Based on sustainable production

Elkem Limpio has 100 employees and 1 arc-furnace with 11.5MW-15MVA, which generates an annual capacity of 11 000 tonnes.  The plant will mainly serve the South American market for ferrosilicon and foundry-alloys.

The production is mainly based on local raw materials and renewable power from the Itaipu hydropower plant. With the focus on sustainability, the plant is working towards using 100 percent charcoal as a reductant for the furnace and eucalyptus chips to allow the proper porosity to the charge.

The quartz is being extracted locally, respecting the local legislation and the environmental requirements.

Limpio is a pioneer plant within Elkem and in Paraguay. It is the first foundry Elkem plant in Latin America, the first 100 percent biocarbon fed plant in Elkem globally and it is the first ferroalloy industry in the country, said Osvaldo Almeida, General Manager Elkem Paraguay.

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