OM smelting plant on track to achieve output target

KUCHING: OM Holdings Ltd’s (OMH) smelting plant in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu, is on track to achieve production of between 340,000 and 360,000 tonnes of ferroalloys in the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2022 (FY22).

Executive chairman and chief executive officer Low Ngee Tong said this is despite the plant undertaking major maintenance works since June 2022.

The smelting plant has a design capacity to produce 200,000 to 210,000 tonnes of ferrosilicon (FeSi) and 250,000 to 300,000 tonnes of manganese alloys per annum.

During the January-June 2022 period (1H22), the plant recorded sharply higher ferroalloy production volume of 190,236 tonnes (comprising 68,929 tonnes of FeSi and 121,307 tonnes of manganese alloy) from 156,298 tonnes (comprising 61,471 tonnes of FeSi and 94,827 tonnes of manganese alloy) in 1H21, an increase of 33,938 tonnes.

In both 1H22 and 1H21, the plant operated 12 out of the 16 furnaces it has.

The plant also increased its production of sinter ores to 56,093 tonnes from 37,049 tonnes during the same period.

However, in 1H21, there was a temporary shutdown of the plant for about one month as a result of Covid-19, which negatively affected production volume.

The plant is owned by OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (OM Sarawak) a 75-25 joint venture between OMH and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS).

“Despite pandemic-related workforce challenges and the fluid working environment in a year of furnace conversion and major maintenance, we have delivered operationally and the group has been able to post robust financial results,” Low said when commenting on OMH’s 1H22 financial results.

Group’s after-tax profit surged to US$60mil (RM269.7mil) in 1H22 from US$18.1mil (RM81.4mil) as revenue soared to US$466.7mil (RM2.01bil) from US$345.9mil (RM1.56bil), up by 35%.

OMH attributed the strong earnings to higher average selling prices of FeSi and silicommanganese (SiMn) despite their lower product volumes traded in 1H22.

In 1H22, revenue contribution from FeSi jumped to US$182.7mil (RM821.4mil) compared to US$79.7mil (RM358.3mil) in 1H21, as average transacted prices for FeSi had doubled.

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