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American Metal Market

By Daniel Fitzgerald

July 2, 2013

Felman ceases oparations at silicomanganese plant

NEW YORK – Felman Production LLC has ceased operations at its New Haven, W.Va., facility for three months due to “continuous challenging ferrosilicomanganese market conditions.”

The company had already idled one of three electric-arc furnaces at the site this spring and started reducing its workforce in response to declining silicomanganese prices and rising manufacturing cost (amm.com, May 20).

“Since the economic and market conditions continue to deteriorate, the decision to cease operations of all of its three furnaces immediately was difficult, but inevitable,” the company said. “ Within the next two months, Felman plans to reevaluate market conditions to determine whether operations will resume earlier or if the plant will remain closed for an additional period of time.”

Despite the shutdown , Felman expects to meet its long-term contract sales commitments, a company spokesman told AMM. “However, current market conditions are unsustainable and shipments in excess of contractual commitments will not be available until improvements are seen.

The company’s in house slag processing until will remain operational, it said.

Felman, a wholly owned subsidiary of Miami-based Georgian American Alloys Inc. (GAA), said it has notified its 211 employees of the closure, as well as vendors and customers affected by the move.

“While no layoffs are expected during the first two months of closure, in compliance with laws and ongoing maintenance activities, the company anticipates working with the appropriate state and union officials to facilitate unemployment and other related benefits for those employees impacted by the decision to keep the plant closed for longer period of time,” the company said.

Silicomanganese is currently trading in a range of 52 to 53 cents per pound, according to AMM’s most recent assessment, although there were reports of unconfirmed transactions below 50 cents per pound (amm.com, June 28). Prices have dropped steadly from a range of 73 to 79 cents per pound in March 2012.

Felman Production produces about 105,000 tonnes  of silicomanganese annually at its facility in New Haven.

GAA also owns Miami-based Felman Trading Inc. and Calvert City, Ky.-based CC Metals & Alloys LLC. The company recently acquired European companies Georgian Manganese LLC and Vartsikhe 2005 LLC to bolster its siicomanganese operations (amm.com, April 22).

Daniel Fitzgerald