Duisburg / Húsavík (Iceland), in September 2015. Construction of PCC’s ultramodern, environmentally compatible silicon metal production plant in Iceland – representing an investment volume totalling around US$ 300 million (approx. € 265 million) – has officially started. On September 17, 2015, Waldemar Preussner – Chairman of the Administrative Board of PCC SE – inaugurated the construction work in the new Bakki industrial park near to the town of Húsavík in the north of the island. High-ranking officials from the world of business and politics, including Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Minister for Trade and Industry Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, attended the ceremony. Silicon smelting is scheduled to begin in 2018. Once completed, the production plant will be capable of producing over 32,000 metric tons of silicon metal per year.
(from left to right): Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (Prime Minister of Iceland), Kristján Þór Magnússon (Mayor of Norðurþing), Waldemar Preussner (Chairman of the Administrative Board of PCC SE), Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir (Iceland’s Minister for Trade and Industry)
“Iceland is the ideal location for this facility,” Preussner said. “The site, the people, the project – they all fit beautifully together. Electricity in Iceland is generated from renewable sources, which means we can calculate our input power prices for the next 15 years.” Preussner went on to say: “Silicon metal is a fantastic product. It’s used in a wide range of different fields from aluminium production and the electrical engineering and electronics sectors to solar energy. Our investment in Iceland will therefore contribute to securing future raw material supplies for German industry going forward. Indeed, from 2018 onwards, our silicon metal output is, to a large extent, already covered by long-term purchase agreements involving German companies as the primary customers.
Waldemar Preussner (Chairman of the Administrative Board of PCC SE) at the Interview
Prime Minister Gunnlaugsson welcomed in particular the creation of over 120 jobs in the PCC plant, providing many families with an important foundation for life in Iceland’s north-east. Kristján Þór Magnússon, Mayor of the district of Norðurþing, in which the Húsavík site is located, stressed: “We are keen to harness the clean energy that our region can provide for industrial parks. For us, therefore, PCC’s intention to build a silicon metal plant in the locality constitutes a very welcome development.”
Burkhard Dahmen, Chairman of the Board of SMS group GmbH in Düsseldorf, which – as a leading metallurgical plant and rolling mill constructor – is responsible for the turnkey delivery of the PCC facility, stated: “Together we will develop a highly efficient and reliable production plant while also endeavouring to minimize its visual impact on the environment. And we are confident that this collaboration with PCC will result in the construction of one of the most advanced silicon metal plants ever built.”
The key input material, quartzite, is to be procured by the Icelandic project company PCC BakkiSilicon hf from the quarry operated by PCC Silicium S.A. in Poland, thus significantly extending the value chain of the PCC Group. The facility’s electrical power is to be supplied by the state-owned Icelandic utility Landsvirkjun and will be generated exclusively from renewable – primarily geothermal – sources. The project will create 120 new direct jobs. The majority of the investment outlay is being covered by a financing package of US$ 194 million (around € 170 million) provided by KfW IPEX-Bank, Frankfurt am Main. More than a quarter of the investment requirement is being provided by the Icelandic company Bakkastakkur slhf. which represents more than ten pension funds and also the Icelandic bank Islandsbanki. Given its importance as a source of raw materials for German industry, the project will also benefit from a UFK export credit guarantee issued by the German government. Iceland has also legislated to allow the project certain tax concessions.