Why was Burnsville, Mississippi selected as the site for the new Mississippi Silicon facility?
The Burnsville, Mississippi (Tishomingo County) site was selected due to its ideal strategic location for taking advantage of the expanding customer base, regional supply chain and stable, competitively-priced electricity. The location also provides direct access to both the Ohio River and Gulf Coast through an adjacent barge terminal.
Why is a silicon metal plant needed?
The demand for silicon metal is far greater than the supply in the United States. Silicon metal is consumed in a variety of industries including the aluminum, chemical, semiconductor and solar industries. The supply shortfall in North America has existed for some time and has led industrial consumers to look for long-term solutions providing sufficient supplies while reducing reliance on imported material.
Why is silicon metal so important to the automotive manufacturing industry?
The use of aluminum in automotive manufacturing has grown steadily in recent years. Its lightweight properties make it an economical replacement for other materials without sacrificing strength. Silicon is a key additive for improving the qualities of aluminum alloys used in automobiles.
What kind of company is RIMA?
RIMA, a company owned by the Vicintin family (the majority owner of Mississippi Silicon), is one of the largest privately-owned industrial companies in Brazil and it supplies a broad range of metals and metal products to customers worldwide. With an annual revenue in excess of $300 million, RIMA serves a number of key industries including automotive, aluminum, chemical, polysilicon and foundries. RIMA’s customer list includes familiar names such as Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen, Alcoa, Corning, U.S. Steel, Nucor and Thyssenkrupp. The Vicintin family also operates the Vicintin Foundation serving disadvantaged youth.
What does the final silicon metal product look like?
Once the processing is complete, silicon metal takes the form of dark gray pieces that have a metallic luster. Some customers prefer to take the product ground into powder form. The product is then further refined by customer industries to meet specific needs.
This facility seems to have been built quickly. What was the timetable?
Financing on the project was finalized Christmas Eve, 2013. A groundbreaking ceremony for Mississippi Silicon was held January 11, 2014, and clearing work on the 94-acre site began the next day. Concrete was first poured at the site in May 2014. The “first tap” from the furnaces was made in September 2015, just 20 months after the groundbreaking.