OMH set to diversify into renewable energy downstream products

OMH set to diversify into renewable energy downstream products

OM Holdings continues to move ahead with furnace expansion to increase manganese alloy output and diversify production into silicon metal at its ferroalloy smelter in Samalaju, Malaysia.

Blue View

The OM Sarawak ferroalloy smelter was commissioned in 2014, consisting of sixteen furnaces, split between producing ferrosilicon (FeSi) and manganese ferroalloys (HC FeMn and SiMn). OM Sarawak predominantly produces FeSi and SiMn for the Japanese, South Korean, Taiwanese, and Asian steel industries. To further extend the existing product range by diversifying into aluminium, chemicals, and solar downstream industries, the OMH ‘Development Plan 2022 & Beyond’ saw the conversion of two of the four idled FeSi furnaces to produce manganese alloy, with the other two currently undergoing conversion to produce silicon metal (30ktpy). In addition, OM Sarawak is exploring the possibilities of developing manganese sulphate for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Silicon metal is used to manufacture aluminium alloys for the automotive industry, as well as to manufacture polysilicon. Polysilicon demand is mainly driven by its use in semiconductors and photovoltaics used in solar applications. Silicon metal capacity requirements are expected to increase during the 2020s as the solar industry continues to grow at double-digit rates. However, silicon metal production is more energy intensive than ferroalloy production, consuming more energy per ton. This is where OMH is planning to promote an advantage with access to clean and renewable energy through a 20-year hydropower agreement with Sarawak Energy, thereby lowering the total carbon footprint of the smelter.

  • 09 Dec 2022
  • OM Holdings
  • Silicon
  • Manganese

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