The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn, today opened the upgraded silicon furnace at Elkem Bremanger in Norway. The upgrade increases the plant’s cost efficiency and reduces NOx emissions with up to 50% – similar to removing 100.000 diesel cars from the road.
Around NOK 250 million has been invested in the upgrade. The Norwegian NOx fund has supported the project with NOK 90 million. In addition to improving cost efficiency and cut NOx emissions, the project has additional benefits, when it comes to safety standards and work environment.
“Elkem is among the world’s most environmentally friendly manufacturers of silicon-based materials. Our products are key inputs for low carbon solutions like renewable energy, electric mobility and digital communications. At the same time, Elkem, like the rest of the process industry, generates emissions from our production. To reduce emissions is critical, and the upgrade at Elkem Bremanger marks an important step in the right direction,” says Elkem’s CEO, Michael Koenig.
Elkem is committed to developing its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris climate agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The electrical energy input for most of Elkem’s furnaces is 100% renewable hydro power. For reducing fossil CO2 emissions Elkem continues to increase the amount of bio-carbon used as a reductant in its production.
“The project at Elkem Bremanger reduces NOx emissions in great scale. We are happy that we can support such a project. This is one of six Elkem projects that the NOx fund has approved and supported, and Elkem’s commitment to reduce NOx emissions will have significant effect on the total Norwegian emissions”, says CEO in the Norwegian NOx fund, Tommy Johnsen.
Elkem Bremanger manufactures metallurgic silicon and ferrosilicon products for the world market, for example Silgrain? which is used in the electronic and solar industry and Superseed?; one of the most powerful inoculants used in the iron foundry industry. The plant has been a cornerstone in the village of Svelgen on the west coast of Norway since 1928.
“To have a greener footprint from our production plants is crucial for future production. The upgrade also increases the plant’s production capacity. This will secure our continued specialisation strategy within silicon products. In addition, I am really glad that this will improve the work environment around the furnace, amongst other things reducing dust emissions,” says plant manager for Elkem Bremanger, Arne Werge-Olsen.
More than 100,000 hours have been worked in the execution phase of the project, with peak manning of 200 persons in the most intense weeks. The project has been delivered on time and with no serious safety incidents.