SGL Group - The Carbon Company - announced commissioning of its integrated carbon and graphite plant in Banting, Malaysia. Operations will begin in modular form with the graphitization of semi-finished graphite electrodes and machining. By 2011, the site will be developed into a fully integrated carbon and graphite hub producing graphite electrodes and cathodes with an annual capacity of 60,000 tons. Total capital expenditure will amount to more than €200 million until 2011.
Armin Bruch, Member of the Board of Management: "The new carbon and graphite hub will support our traditionally strong presence and market share in Southeast Asia out of local production hence replacing hitherto imported product from Europe/North America. Therefore, Banting will become a core site within our global production network. As the market leader in the ASEAN region, we will continue to grow with our customers in the steel and aluminum industry and supply them locally from now on."
By 2011, production will fully integrate all stages of graphite electrode and cathode manufacturing - from extrusion to graphitization to machining. The initial electrode investment, which has been under construction since November 2006, has been complemented by the cathode construction since beginning of 2008. Combining both fully integrated operations will enable the company to take advantage of flexibility in production ("swing capability") in order to supply the electric steel as well as the aluminum market.
"Malaysia is an ideal starting point for businesses in Asia not only logistically but also because of its skilled workforce, modern infrastructure and social-political stability," adds KH Lim, Managing Director SGL CARBON Asia-Pacific Sdn Bhd. Based on own expertise and best practices of SGL Group, this fully integrated carbon and graphite plant will be the world's most cost efficient with state-of-the-art technology. Furthermore, this is the first new construction project of this magnitude for this industry in 25 years.