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Elkem to expand pitch capacity in Brazil

| By Mary Bailey

Elkem ASA (Oslo, Norway) has decided to invest around NOK 200 million (around $20 million) to increase its production capacity in Brazil for pitch, a raw material for electrode paste to industrial smelters.

The investment is based on well-known technology and constitutes an expansion of a running Elkem facility, thereby further improving productivity and profitability. The increased production of high-quality products will be supplied to a major customer on a long-term contract. Elkem will also have options to sell additional supply to others. The investment will increase the production capacity by up to 40 per cent from 2024, and is expected to generate additional annual sales in excess of NOK 300 million.

“This investment is an example of how Elkem is committed to delivering the potential of our customers. In a situation where demand is higher than supply, we are stepping up our production capacity. Elkem’s unique position, both as producer and user of electrode paste and raw materials, has enabled us to define the standard for electrode paste performance and optimal electrode operation. For many years, our customers have benefited from our long tradition of technology development, and we are delighted that they continue to do so,” says Elkem’s senior vice president for Carbon Solutions, Luiz Simão.

Pitch is produced based on byproducts from the steel industry. It is both a raw material in Elkem’s electrode paste production and an end-product that is sold in the external market, mainly to the aluminum industry. Carbon solutions support the production of the metals that the world needs.

The investment will expand the Elkem Carboderivados plant established in Brazil in 1987, contributing to secure local jobs and ripple effects in greater Vitoria, State of Espirito Santo. The flexible production setup of the facility allows it to meet the market needs quickly and deliver tailor-made products to its customers. The plant also has an integrated management system for quality, safety and environment. Brazil largely relies on hydropower for its electricity generation.