Viridis.iQ CEO on the hybrid flex advantages for silicon and ferrosilicon producers
December 15, 2015 — In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky interviews Lou Parous, Executive Director of Viridis.iQ GmbH (Viridis.iQ), a global engineering firm that specializes in silicon based industrial manufacturing projects, about the advantages of hybrid flex projects in North America. Canadian Metals Inc. (CSE: CME) introduced Viridis.iQ to InvestorIntel when they recently announced that Viridis.iQ would commence a PEA study regarding the implementation of a ferrosilicon plant in the Quebec. Lou explains that hybrid flex is a complex name for a simple idea. That if the Canadian Metals factory is designed smart from the beginning to produce both silicon and ferrosilicon, then the cost of production in the future is minimized when the factory switches from one product to another. He then goes on to explain the hybrid flex advantages, the size of the overall market and why Canadian Metals is so well positioned to benefit from this advantageous architecture.
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Tracy Weslosky: I was doing some research about you because you came heavily recommended to us at InvestorIntel. You recently spoke at a conference in Switzerland about the effect of electricity prices on the production of ferroalloys. This is a really fascinating presentation, can you share some highlights with us please?
Lou Parous: Sure. You know, the electricity can significantly impact the production of ferroalloys because typically we’re talking about a process that requires almost as much electricity as the aluminum process. Electricity is a cost driver here. That doesn’t mean necessarily though that that’s the only thing to be considered when deciding a new factory location. In the speech in Switzerland what we talked about was how electricity can really play a part in the deciding factor of a new factory or an existing factory, but it’s not necessarily the only thing. That really goes to show that the production of silicon and ferroalloys are extremely complex. You have several mitigating factors in the operation. It’s also important to accept some environmental responsibility here. When we’re talking about very large industrial intensive silicon manufacturing facilities that require a lot of energy it’s very good to pick locations that have a high renewable mix on the grid, especially when we combine that with silicon because silicon on the downstream is used to produce photovoltaic devices. When we have a situation where we have a high energy intensive production facility in a renewable, let’s say, location and combine that with silicone it really kind of adds a lot of credence to projects because of the current environmental situation.
Tracy Weslosky: Okay, fantastic. With Veritas.iQ, I know you’re heavily involved in something called a hybrid flex project, which frankly I didn’t know anything about prior to this interview. It looks fascinating. Can you tell us more about this please? Thank you.
Lou Parous: Sure. No problem. The hybrid flex is actually a complex name for a very simple concept, which is basically to design the factory, a ferroalloy factory, from the beginning that will allow the broadest of production profiles as possible – many times in fact. There’s many silicon manufacturing facilities around the world that produce the other product because these products are very similar in chemistry and in production process. The idea here behind the hybrid flex is just that we allow from the initial design phase, from the engineering, from the equipment, construction and process design, we build in the flexibility for the plant…to access the complete interview, click here
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