RHI Normag starts up the fused magnesia plant and hires 40
A pleased and optimistic management in RHI Normag. From left Stuart Ford, Managing Director, Victor Diaz, Production Manager, Vidar Lid, SCM and Sales Manager and Duncan Watson, Maintenance Manager.
RHI Normag has decided to restart the production of fused magnesia on Herøya, and will need about 40 new employees. The decision was taken based on the positive results of the test run in December 2017, and increased demand for high quality fused magnesia.
Fused magnesia is the world's most heat-resistant material, which RHI uses as a raw material for the production of refractory masonry.
Production stoppage in 2016
The plant for the production of fused magnesia at Herøya was started in 2012, but was stopped in August 2016 because RHI met strong and increasing competition in the refractory market. However, the production line has been maintained and kept operational since the punch. The crew was reduced from 140 to about 40.
In the first quarter of 2017 there was uncertainty in the market due to the lack of supply of refractory raw materials from China. Against this background, it was decided in September to run a test production in Porsgrunn with a limited number of production lines, after the parent company RHI Magnesita had placed an order on the product.
Successful test drive
On December 18 last year, the Board of RHI Normag decided to resume production of fused magnesia after successful test drive. In consultation with the unions, the company will recruit personnel in parallel with the fact that several furnaces are put into operation. Full factory run and staffing will be completed in the next four to six months.
The factory is initially planned to run on three shifts, which will require around 40 new employees.
Impressed by the efforts
"The results of the test run are very positive," said chairman Andreas Kriegl of RHI Normag.
"We have managed to retain a core of highly qualified employees after the shutdown in 2016. I am impressed by the team's efforts during the test period. Launch of the factory in Porsgrunn means a major and important step on the way in ensuring RHI Magnesita's stable supplies of raw materials, he emphasizes.
About RHI Magnesita
RHI Magnesita is a world leader in refractory products, systems and service, delivering to more than 10,000 customers worldwide, in the steel, cement, non-ferrous metals, glass, energy and chemicals industries.
The company operates around 35 production facilities and 70 sales offices with 14,500 employees in Europe, America and Asia. In 2016, the company traded for 2.3 billion euros.