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Kosovo nickel plant restarts production

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Kosovo’s NewCo Ferronikeli, the country’s sole ferronickel producer, has restarted production after three weeks of preparation to prime the facility’s machinery. The operation was suspended in October 2021 amid soaring energy costs in Europe.

NewCo Ferronikeli has had several different owners since its privatization in 2005. It is now owned by Turkey’s Yildirim Group, which acquired the asset in June 2022 from Balfin Group. The ferronickel smelting operation is located in Drenas and ore is supplied from the country’s Chikatovo and Glavitca mines in addition to third-party sources including imports from Guatemala and Albania.

Ferronickel capacity currently stands at 12ktpy Ni-in-FeNi with output of 9kt achieved in 2020. The plant sources its electricity from abroad, thus making it vulnerable to the spike in energy prices that impacted Europe in late 2021.

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Ferronickel is consumed by the stainless steel sector, and most of the operation’s output is exported to steel mills in other European nations, as well as China and India. Stainless steel demand in Europe has remained weak in 2023, with the industry impacted by plummeting prices and high energy costs.

 

Source: Project Blue

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