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Malaysia Smelting Corporation mothballs smelter for the advanced ISASMELT furnace.

Kuala Lumpur:
“This is a necessary move for us as we establish a solid foundation for growth
whilst facing an increasingly challenging operating landscape, which includes
2 uncertain macroeconomic conditions as well as volatile tin price movements,
among others.”

Dato’ Dr. Patrick Yong
Group Chief Executive Officer
Malaysia Smelting Corporation (MSC)

One of a kind in the world Tin miner and metal producer, Malaysia Smelting Corporation’s (MSC) Berhad facility is relocating to its new smelting base in Pulau Indah, Port Klang with relocation progress now at an advanced stage. Full smelting operations are expected to commence in the near term. However, even with Pulau Indah in full  operations, the plant in Butterworth will still be in service, working in tandem, so as to ensure problem-free production.
The company has prioritised the peace of mind of its customers at the expense of cost duplication, until smooth operations are achieved. At Pulau Indah, the Group will employ cutting edge Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology to reduce costs and over-reliance on intensive labour. This venture will convert a lead refining plant to that of tin, using a ISASMELT furnace. The ISASMELT furnace which uses the revolutionary Top Submerged Lance technology replaces the traditional reverberatory furnaces, which have been in use over the last 100 years, and will herald a new era and add a new dimension to the Group’s smelting technology.
The ISASMELT furnace has a high intrinsic smelting capacity coupled with a lower unit smelting cost which will give the Group a competitive edge in its feed materials sourcing activity. The new smelter’s location is equally strategic due to its proximity to the port and LME warehouse.
Benefits of the ISASMELT technology furnace:

  • Simplified smelting process
  • Higher purity output
  • Time and energy-efficient
  • Lower labour requirements

Overall process efficiency will also be achieved with the TSL single stage smelting as compared to the outdated reverbatory furnaces currently employed in Butterworth, which traps tin in multi-stage smelting, resulting in a build up of tin caught in intermediates.

Dato’ Dr. Patrick Yong , Group Chief Executive Officer of MSC said, “This is a necessary move for us as we establish a solid foundation for growth whilst facing an  increasingly challenging operating landscape,  which includes uncertain macroeconomic conditions as well as volatile tin price movements, among others.”

The technology upgrade will significantly enhance the Group’s extractive yields, in a more cost efficient and  environmentally friendly manner. The new plant uses natural gas as fuel and follows a more comprehensive  single stage continuous smelting process, leading to a minimisation in  MSC’s carbon footprint. At Pulau Indah, the Group will be utilising renewable energy with its installed rooftop solar panels and will be  tapping waste heat from the furnaces, recycling energy from operating thermal wastage. This is in line with the Group’s aim in becoming a more sustainable tin player.
Furthermore, the new set-up at the Pulau Indah plant enables a scale up in production capacity from the current 40,000 tonnes per year, by an additional 50%, using oxygen enrichment without incurring  additional capital

“As we commence operations at Pulau Indah and eventually phase out production at Butterworth, we anticipate a gradual improvement in our financial performance,” he added.

Internal Restructuring
The impending move to Pulau Indah will also involve an internal restructuring exercise affecting approximately 550 employees at the Butterworth smelter. While MSC provides employees the opportunity to relocate from Butterworth to Pulau Indah and upskill their capabilities to operate more advanced technologies, there will be a reduction in manpower as the new modern plant
requires less workers.
Hence, MSC will be undertaking a Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) which allows employees to opt out while receiving a fair and equitable compensation package.

Dato’ Dr. Patrick further commented, “As a responsible employer, we are committed to carrying out this restructuring exercise in a fair and sensitive manner. Official notification has been given to all affected employees to prepare them for this transition. In addition to the compensation offered, we will provide support in terms of career transition during this period of change.
With the migration to Pulau Indah, we are well-positioned to benefit from the rising demand for tin with lower operational costs. We continuously review our strategies to ensure that the Group stays resilient against external headwinds. We continue to explore new areas of growth with the aim of further establishing MSC as a leading integrated tin player.”

The MSC Group is currently one of the world’s leading integrated producers
of tin metal and tin based products and a global leader in custom tin smelting
since 1887. MSC which is a subsidiary of The Straits Trading Company Limited
of Singapore is listed both on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia and the Main
Board of Singapore Exchange.

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