Outokumpu is assessing options to build a new slag furnace in Tornio, Finland, on which a decision will be made in 2020. The company has initiated an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure as a basis for decision making. The planned facility would produce ferrochrome-nickel (FeCrNi) alloy from slag and side streams primarily from production processes in Tornio, with an energy consumption that is stated to be 30% lower than the existing furnaces.
Much of Outokumpu’s 530kt capacity charge chrome production is consumed in the company’s stainless steel operations. The company previously exported 30-70kt per quarter from Finland but, as of Q4 2018, exports have remained steadily above 80kt per quarter, which may see in capacity utilisation of the existing plant move above 95%.
More recently, the additional exports have gone directly to Indonesia, where the rapidly growing stainless steel industry is sourcing third-party chromium units. Indonesian stainless steel mills have imported chromium units mainly from South Africa; however, the South African ferrochrome industry is facing headwinds from the domestic electricity provider and Roskill expects South African ferrochrome production to decline by over 10% in 2019, forcing the growing import market to source chromium units from other producers.
Roskill’s 15th edition of its Chromium: Outlook to 2029 report was published in June 2019. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages, or to access further information.