Magnesium plant to start operation next year

THE US$180mil (RM684mil) magnesium plant to be located in the K-munting industrial estate near Tai-ping is expected to begin its first production for the world market in Oc-tober next year. 

According to Perak State Industrial and Entrepreneurship Development and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ramly Zahari, New World Alloys Ltd has confirmed with the Perak state government that it would establish the plant following numerous negotiations and studies showing that the project is technically and economically feasible. 

Ramly told reporters in Ipoh last Tuesday that the initial cost of US$180mil would be used to purchase, dismantle and relocate the existing plant in Addy Washington, the US and re-build the plant in Kamunting. 

Ramly said that Perak was chosen for many reasons, among them the suitability of the proposed location in Kamunting and the availability of raw materials, mainly dolomite from the nearby quarry in Sungai Siput and other surrounding areas. 

He said that samples tested showed that the quality of dolomite was good as it contained high levels of MgO, low levels of silica, alkali and toxic metals. 

Ramly said that the existing Lumut Port would enable the company to import other raw materials like magnesite and ferrosilicon from China, and aluminium from Australia as well exporting its final products. 

According to Ramly, magnesium is lighter than aluminium but it is better than the latter to build tough steels, especially when combined with alloy. 

Among the by-products from the plant are ammonium sulphate to be sold to the fertiliser industry, residual ferrosilicon (re-sell to ferrosilicon supplier), slag (to local cement industries), potassium chloride (to fertiliser or chemical industries) and dolomite fines (to agriculture or glass industries). 

Currently, local partners, including the Perak State Economic Develop-ment Corp, are negotiating with New World, a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, to finalise the equity holding in the project. 

The magnesium plant is the second biggest investment in Perak this year after the RM9.5bil aluminium smelting plant in Manjung, the big-gest in the region. - Bernama 

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