Elkem has a long-term goal to reduce CO2 emissions through increased use of biocarbon. As an important step in this effort, Elkem today announces NOK 140 million in investments in new infrastructure at its production site in Rana, Norway, enabling usage of wood chips as biocarbon. In addition, an improved charging and water handling system contributes to more efficient and safe production with reduced emissions.
Elkem aims to increase its share of emissions based on renewable biogenic sources to 40% by 2030. The company has already reached 20% of direct CO2 emissions based on renewable biogenic sources in Norway in 2020. The nature of the sources makes these emissions carbon neutral.
“This investment in infrastructure for wood chips at Elkem Rana constitutes an attractive opportunity to both improve furnace operating yield and reduce CO2 and NOx emissions through increased use of biocarbon. The investment will increase Elkem Rana’s biogenic share and reduce NOx emissions. The reduction in NOx is similar to removing close to 20,000 diesel cars from the road. Our long-term goal is to grow the biocarbon share towards 40%,” says Inge A. Grubben-Strømnes, SVP for Silicon Products in Elkem.
Elkem Rana provides specialty and standard ferrosilicon products to the global steel market, as well as Elkem Microsilica, a key ingredient in many advanced construction materials.
“The Elkem Rana plant is already based on renewable hydropower and the energy recovery represents approximately 15% of the electricity input. With today’s new investment, we secure another important upgrade of our production facility in Rana, that contribute to the modernisation of production both in the form of improved safety, increased capacity and lower emissions,” says Frode Johan Berg, plant manager at Elkem Rana.
The total investment related to the project is NOK 140 million, of which NOK 70 million is supported by grants from the Norwegian NOx fund.
“Elkem has reduced emissions from their plants in Norway significantly over the last decade, most of them with financial support from the NOx Fund, and with impressive results. The project at Elkem Rana, adds another milestone to their work to reduce their own emissions, to move Norway towards a zero emission society and to establish a low-emission baseline for their industry sector,” says Tommy Johnsen, general manager of the NOx Fund.
Elkem has a broad approach to environmentally friendly material and metal production, including through several biocarbon initiatives around the world.
In 2020, Elkem decided to invest in a new biocarbon pilot plant in Canada. Elkem is also involved in work to develop competitive and sustainable sources of biocarbon as well as longer-term R&D projects. In 2019, Elkem’s plant in Paraguay achieved 100% sustainable biocarbon in its production of ferrosilicon as a pioneer plant in Elkem and the metals industry.
In 2020, Elkem was awarded a Gold level rating by EcoVadis for the company’s sustainability performance and corporate social responsibility and an A-rating from CDP, ranking Elkem among the world’s leading companies on climate transparency and action.