By Bob Matyi
17 Jan 2014

Eramet to continue producing Mn alloys on two furnaces

US manganese alloys producer Eramet Marietta is to continue to make silicomanganese and refined ferromanganese in its two operating furnaces in 2014, although pricing is expected to be difficult this year, a company spokeswoman said on January 17.

"Operationally, both are still running," Joy Frank-Collins, the spokeswoman, said in an interview, referring to furnaces 1 and 12.

Still idled is Furnace 18 at the plant and it appears a final rebuild decision by the company's French-owned parent is not expected soon. Furnace 18 has been out of service for almost four years, since March, 2010, when a pressure buildup blew material off its top.

Frank-Collins indicated Eramet was still waiting for more clarity regarding the US Environmental Protection Agency's national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants before it decided the fate of Furnace 18.

A project to upgrade Eramet Marietta's mix house is expected to continue to move forward this year, she said.

"Beyond that, it could be a tough year because of prices [for manganese alloys]. It's looking to be a year that's just pretty typical."

Frank-Collins said she was not sure how last year's idling of Felman Production's silicomanganese plant in New Haven, West Virginia, was affecting Eramet Marietta's business. 

Eramet Marietta does not disclose capacity or sales figures. The company produces silicomanganese and high-carbon, medium-carbon and low-carbon ferromanganese, but almost all of its high-carbon ferromanganese production is refined into the medium- and low-carbon products.