Today was supposed to be D-Day for United Silicon in Iceland, the day when they were supposed to have paid off all their dues. But no, this was not to be the case, as they asked for another moratorium on payments and were given an extension of 6 weeks, till 22 January. In theory they could have got a 3-month extension, but they said that 6 weeks would suffice.
Karen Kjartansdottir, spokesperson for United Silicon, says that while the smelter has not been operating they have been going over what needs to be done and carrying out some of the necessary improvements. These are costly, and may take another 6 months to complete. Who pays? Arion bank, who have already written off a sizeable proportion of United Silicon’s debts.
But she also said that they were looking at debt pooling, and intimated that they had also been using the time to find out if there were any prospective buyers for the plant. Apparently some large companies in the same business had shown interest, though no one has come up with an offer.
In one way it’s good that they have been given the extra time, because by that time the new PCC silicon smelter in North Iceland will probably have started to operate – and PCC have warned local inhabitants that odour and minor health problems may be experienced during the first few weeks, while the plant is being brought up to full capacity. Sound familiar?