HomeBase MetalsSA ferrochrome production expected to double

SA ferrochrome production expected to double

An aerial view of
one of South Africa’s
ferrochrome complexes
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 September 2010 – South African production of the steel-making ingredient ferrochrome is forecast to more than double to 4.6Mt by 2015, compared with the country’s output for 2009.

Revealing this here, a senior industry official said that South Africa had produced 2.2Mt of ferrochrome last year.

Heinz Pariser of Alloy Metals and Steel Market Research went on to say that new projects for expanding ferrochrome production in South Africa would stall between now and 2013 due to expected power shortages. State power utility Eskom had been struggling to plug a national power deficit owing to fast-rising demand and its own financial problems.

The power utility said it would be able to meet demand this year but would face tight supply in 2011 and 2012 without new capacity.

Pariser said stunted ferrochrome growth would create tight supply of ferrochrome to the market and result in higher prices.

“Ferrochrome capacity expansion in South Africa will not take place on a large scale within the next three years, but existing ferrochrome capacity restrictions are expected to be lifted after 2013,” Pariser told a ferroalloys conference here. “Some 600 000 tonnes of idled capacity will then be available again.”

Pariser said that South African ferrochrome capacity would rise to 5.5Mtpa by 2015 from 3.89Mtpa in 2009, while exports were expected to grow to 3.94Mtpa from 2.83Mtpa in the same period. He added that China would continue drive global ferrochrome demand as a result of its growing steel industry.