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SilMag receives NOK 20 million in funding from Innovation Norway - A flying start for phase 1

Innovation Norway has allocated NOK 20 million in funding to the SilMag project, which is planning the production of magnesium and silica at the Herøya Industrial Park. This is a flying start for phase 1 of the project.

SilMag-prosjektet i Herøya Industripark får 20 mill. kr i støtte fra Innovasjon Norge.

All campswere delighted when it became known that Innovation Norway had granted NOK 20million for phase 1 of the SilMag project. From the left: Mayor Øystein Beyer,Tor Morten Thorsen, Herøya local union, Per Kristian Andersen, SilMag project and Thor Oscar Bolstad, Herøya Industrial Park AS. 

“Our practical approach has shown that we are positive about the project,” says executive officer Geoff Langbakk at Innovation Norway's office in Telemark. The funding comes from the Scheme for Environmental Technologies.

Golden opportunity
Currently the SilMag project is on a three-week global roadshow together with the consultancy company Pareto, to “sell” the project to investors. The aim is to secure $100 million, which will ensure phase 1 of the project.

Per Kristian Andersen of the SilMag project is delighted with the support from Innovation Norway. “This is a golden opportunity for those who are now going out and presenting the project to potential investors,” he adds.

In addition, the Mayor of Porsgrunn Øystein Beyer, director Thor Oscar Bolstad of Herøya Industpark AS and Chairman of Herøya local union, Tor Morten Thorsen all agree.

“This is fantastic news for the Herøya Industrial Park, Grenland and Norwegian land-based industry. We honestly believe the project will succeed,” they conclude.

Four activities
The funding from Innovation Norway and from international investors is planned to fund the four main activities that make up phase 1.

These are: the start-up and operation of the remelting plant for magnesium waste, start-up and operation of the pilot plant for silica, planning of phase 2 which includes the full-scale magnesium and silica plants as well as R&D activities into new types of alloys.

The remelting plant will be up and running 9 months after the promised funding, i.e. mid-2015 and will produce 15,000 tonnes of magnesium per year.

Purest in the world
Phase 2 of the project consists of a new lye plant, an upgraded and expanded magnesium foundry and a new silica plant. The plants will need about 300 employees, as well as the hiring of hundreds of man-years. The investments will amount to NOK 4-5 billion.

The raw material for production is olivine from the mines in Sunnmøre. Some 65,000 tonnes of magnesium will be produced per year in the new plants, with the world's lowest energy consumption and the world's lowest CO2 emissions per produced kilogram. Silica is the other product to be produced, approx. 80,000 tonnes per year. This is used among others, in tyres to reduce friction and fuel consumption.

12 years
It is the combination of expertise, patience and staying power that is now paying off. The core team of the SilMag project have worked for a full 12 years to realise this. There have been ups and downs - yet over the last year mostly highs.

In the summer of 2013, Norwegian Hydro ASA and Serenity Capital Pte. Ltd. signed an agreement that opened the door for SilMag International AS, the Norwegian subsidiary of Serenity, to resume production of magnesium at Herøya.

According to the agreement, Hydro, which closed its magnesium plant at Herøya in 2002, will make production facilities and technologies available as well as lease land and other infrastructure at the Herøya Industrial Park. The agreement presupposes that Serenity secures funding for the project, which they are now well under way with.

 

 

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