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Ferroglobe unit sets plan to restart silicon metal facility in Selma

SELMA, Alabama — Alabama officials announced today Globe Metallurgical Inc. (GMI), a subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC, a leading producer of silicon metal and specialty alloys, is moving forward with a plan to restart an idled silicon metal facility in Selma.

The Dallas County facility will employ about 100 people and conduct business with 150 local suppliers, providing an additional economic boost for the region.

GMI’s two-furnace operation at the Selma facility can produce up to 22,000 tons of silicon metal a year and support many industries including solar, semiconductors, automotive, consumer products, construction, and energy.

“The restart of the Selma facility has been a part of our multi-year strategy,” Ferroglobe CEO Marco Levi said. “We thank the many government officials who supported this effort and look forward to welcoming back the workforce.”

The facility on Old Montgomery Highway in Selma was shuttered in 2018 due to low prices caused by a flood of imported silicon metal.

London-based Ferroglobe and GMI announced in September 2020 that a restart of the Alabama facility was being considered thanks to rising prices, increased demand for silicon metal and worries about foreign dependency for key materials.

“These growth plans will benefit Selma and Dallas County by positioning this historic region of Alabama for job creation and new investment while also reflecting the company’s deep confidence in the strengths of the area’s capable workforce,” Governor Kay Ivey said.

“That is a positive message that should resonate with other corporate decision makers and create additional opportunities.”

The Selma project is moving forward after negotiations to secure state and local incentives. In addition, an allocation from the New Markets Tax Credit Program is also being pursued to enable an expansion of planned capabilities and upgrade of equipment, making the Alabama plant more efficient and competitive in the global market.

‘ECONOMIC BOOST’

Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said GMI’s project in Selma aligns with strategic economic development objectives that call for stimulating additional levels of investment and job creation in the state’s rural communities.

“The decision by Ferroglobe and Globe Metallurgical to resume production at the Selma plant will provide a significant economic boost to the Dallas County region and good job opportunities for the hard-working citizens there,” Secretary Canfield said.

“The Alabama team will seek to capitalize on the momentum that this project generates.”

Other Alabama officials also welcomed the plans to restart the Selma facility.

“I’m thrilled that Globe Metallurgical Inc. is reopening its silicon metal facility in my hometown of Selma,” U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell said. “Manufacturing facilities are economic pillars in our community. I applaud everyone for their continued work in promoting growth and economic opportunity through high-quality jobs to residents in Selma and across the Black Belt.”

“Alabama is home to thousands of highly skilled, hard-working people, and I am proud to know that our state will play a part in decreasing dependence on foreign supply chains by producing additional silicon metal resources,” added U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

Wayne Vardaman, executive director of the Selma Dallas County Economic Development Authority, said his agency worked with the Alabama Department of Commerce and other state officials, Dallas County Probate Court Judge Jimmy Nunn and Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. to make the project possible.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)