Feb 19

RHI seeks December restart for Norway magnesia plant

The company aims to have its fused magnesia line ‘up and running’ in Norway before year-end.

Austrian refractory maker RHI is aiming to restart fused magnesia (FM) production at its partially-mothballed facility in Norway in December, the company told IM.

After an initial announcement at the beginning of October, RHI said it is confident the FM production line at the Porsgrunn facility can be “up and running” in a short period of time.

“We are working to start up in December with a limited number of lines first. We will constantly evaluate the needs in terms of production volume to guarantee the supply to our customers,” RHI told IM.

The FM operation at the facility was mothballed in August 2016, on the back of weak market conditions that made the line uneconomical to run.

CCM production at the site meanwhile continued – which is the main reason behind the swift restart schedule RHI is pursuing, as workers have remained at the facility and operations have ticked over in the other manufacturing lines at the site.

Whether RHI’s Norwegian plant would start producing FM again has been a main point of discussion among industry players over the past few months, as the shortage of the material intensified in major consuming markets.

Prices of the material from both Chinese and European suppliers have reached new highs in October.
European FM increased further to $1,400-1,600/tonne, while all Chinese FM grades also appreciate dafter the Golden Week national holiday.

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