U.K.-based Ferroglobe eyes restart plan for silicon metal facility in Selma
SELMA, Alabama — Ferroglobe PLC, a leading producer of silicon metal, silicon-based alloys and manganese-based specialty alloys, announced today that its subsidiary, Globe Metallurgical Inc. (GMI), is considering plans to restart its silicon metal facility in Selma.
GMI said it is working with Alabama and local representatives on the plans. The company is seeking New Market Tax Credits for the project, which would help offset commissioning costs and enable it to acquire and upgrade equipment to begin production of silicon metal.
Combined, the two-furnace operation in Selma has a total annual capacity of 22,000 tons of silicon metal, which is used in many applications including to produce the silicon wafers for photovoltaic solar cells and electronic semiconductors. It’s also used to strengthen aluminum and as a raw material in a growing number of industrial and consumer products.
GMI’s plans call for restarting one furnace at the Dallas County facility in December 2021, with hopes of restarting the second furnace by March 2022.
A full restart would generate approximately 100 local new hires and 150 indirect local suppliers.
CEO Marco Levi said London-based Ferroglobe is one of the few silicon metal producers with meaningful idled capacity which can be restarted globally. The company permanently shuttered a facility in New York state as it pursues a strategic turnaround plan.
“In light of favorable market conditions in North America heading into 2022, the Selma facility will be an important asset in our U.S. silicon platform going forward…,” Levi said. “The restart of the Selma facility has been a part of our multi-year strategy, and we feel this is an opportune time to commence the process.
“We thank the State of Alabama for all their support and look forward to welcoming back the workforce,” he added.
Alabama officials expressed support for Ferroglobe’s move to resume production at the Selma facility.
“The potential reopening of GMI’s silicon metal facility in Selma reflects the company’s confidence in the future of Alabama’s economy and in the strengths of area’s workforce,” Governor Kay Ivey said.
“These growth plans position this historic region of our state for significant new investment and added jobs, and that’s great news for Selma and for the entire state.”
Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the project aligns with the state’s economic development strategy, which calls for stimulating investment and job creation in rural communities.
“The Alabama team is fully committed to stimulating economic growth in the state’s rural areas and supportive of GMI’s move to restart its idled facility in Dallas County,” Secretary Canfield said.
“We plan to work with the company to help facilitate its plans, which will provide an economic boost to the Selma community and opportunities for its hard-working citizens,” he added.