TTI

About Tyssedal

Tyssedal is located in Norway approximately 180 kilometres south-east of Bergen and 365 kilometres from Oslo.  Positioned on the edge of the Hardanger fjord, which comes off the North Sea, TTI is able to take advantage of hydroelectric power and undertakes all ship handling activities on-site.

Tyssedal is located in close proximity to the majority of TTI’s European-based customers, with most receiving-ports able to be reached within two to three days.

TTI smelts ilmenite to produce titanium rich slag and high purity pig iron.

TTI will undertake a furnace refurbishment and capacity expansion in the third quarter of 2015.

Background

The TTI ilmenite upgrading facility is one of only five facilities of its type in the world and the only one in Europe.

Commencing ilmenite upgrading operations in 1986, the facility was acquired by ERAMET in 2008 and subsequently transferred to TiZir as part of the establishment of the joint venture with MDL.  TTI has a long and stable production history.

Production Process

TTI uses a process of pre‑reduction, metallisation and smelting to upgrade ilmenite into titanium slag and high purity pig iron.  Simplistically, the process involves the metallisation of the iron within the ilmenite in a pre-reduction rotary kiln, followed by the smelting of this pre-reduced feedstock in an electric arc furnace the outcome of which is the production of titanium rich slag and high purity pig iron.  The primary purpose of this process is to increase the titanium dioxide content of the resulting titanium slag, with the resultant high purity pig iron being a valuable co-product.

Furnace Refurbishment and Capacity Expansion

Beginning in the third quarter of 2015, the electric furnace at TTI is scheduled to be relined and the existing roof upgraded with a water-cooled copper-ceramic roof.  The upgrade will increase smelting capacity by approximately 15% and lengthen periods between scheduled shutdowns.  A number of health & safety and environmental improvements will also be incorporated.  The reline is part of the normal maintenance of the furnace, as the furnace lining is subject to extreme temperatures during the smelting process and therefore its integrity deteriorates over time.  The current lining has lasted 10 years and produced over 1,900,000 tonnes of titanium slag.

The cost of the furnace expansion will be approximately US$70-80 million and the plant will be shut down for three months while this maintenance is performed.  The project will create the flexibility to produce both chloride and sulphate titanium slag within the same furnace, providing the ability to alternate between products as dictated by supply and demand dynamics within the market.  Also, the production of chloride titanium slag will be completely supplied by ilmenite produced by GCO, which will both secure supply of ilmenite from within the group and reduce any reliance on third party sales of ilmenite.

As part of this project, TTI will install, test and continue the development of a more environmentally friendly upgrading process that could ultimately reduce TTI’s CO2 emissions by as much as 90% and reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.  This program is supported by Enova which has approved TTI’s funding application totalling NOK122 million (approximately US$16.2 million).  Enova is a Norwegian government agency promoting energy efficiency and the use of environmentally friendly energy technology.  These funds will be received upon final approval by the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority.

About Norway

Norway is located in Northern Europe on the western and northern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean (Norwegian Sea). Norway has a low population and high standard of living with the third highest GDP per person in the world. A majority of Norway’s wealth has been generated by its large oil deposits, contributing significantly to the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, high quality infrastructure and social welfare system.

Further, Norway has developed a highly educated workforce which has helped build strong industrial and service sectors whilst maintaining traditional Norwegian industries such as timber and fisheries. There is also a burgeoning technology industry in Norway.

Norway remains steadfastly independent and has not joined the European Union (‘EU’) or adopted the Euro currency. Norway is a member of the European Economic Area and adheres to many environmental and other regulations issued by the EU.

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