KUCHING: OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (OM Sarawak), which owns a ferro alloy smelting plant in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu, has made loan repayments of US$16 million to project finance lenders in third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (Q3-2019).

This was disclosed by OM Holdings Ltd, which has a 75 percent stake in OM Sarawak. Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) owns the remaining 25 percent in the joint venture company.

The plant is operating at full capacity, producing 58,127 tonnes of ferrosilicon (FeSi) and 64,775 tonnes of manganese alloy in Q3-2019.

The output of manganese alloy increased by about three percent as compared to 62,750 tonnes in Q2-2019 while that of FeSi rose marginally from 57,901 tonnes.

In Q3-2019, OM Sarawak sold 57,429 tonnes of FeSi and 67,583 tonnes of manganese alloy against 58,330 tonnes and 62,333 tonnes respectively in Q2-2019, OM Holdings said in its latest quarterly

The plant has 16 furnaces in operation, with eight furnaces producing standard grade FeSi, two furnaces producing refined FeSi and six furnaces producing manganese alloy.

The smelter has a capacity to produce about 200,000 to 210,000 tonnes of FeSi and 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of manganese alloy
per annum.

During the January-September 2019 period, the plant has produced 172,439 tonnes of FeSi and 186,700 tonnes of manganese alloy.

OM Sarawak sold 166,750 tonnes of FeSi and 180,540 tonnes of manganese alloy during the same period.

In Q3-2019, OM Sarawak also successfully secured an increase in its annual nominated power capacity from 350MW to 430MW.

The additional power capacity will take effect from FY2022.

“This increase will underpin the projects’ power requirement to support its expansion plans over the next few years,” said OM Holdings.

OM Sarawak is expanding its operation and this includes the construction of a sinter plant and extension of the raw material storage

While the sinter plant is expected to be completed in Q4-2019, the expansion of the raw material storage warehouses is near completion as the contractors are in the process of commencing the handover requirements.

According to OM Holdings, the sinter plant is to upgrade manganese ore fines via a sintering process with coke fines to produce sintered manganese ore lumps.

This will further reduce the cost of production of manganese alloy and improve furnace productivity.

The sinter plant will be equipped with auxiliary facilities, a laboratory, offices and canteen.

OM Holdings’ subsidiary OM Materials (Qinzhou) Co Ltd owns a smelter and sinter plant in Qinzhou, Guangxi Province, China.

The plant produced 10,615 tonnes of manganese alloy and 9,387 tonnes of manganese sinter ore in 3Q2019. It sold 11,435 tonnes of manganese alloy during the quarter under review.

To further enhance the plant’s operations, OM Sarawak also carry out road improvements.