The District Court of Reykjanes today approved the request of the Board of Directors of United Silicon for an extension of its moratorium until 22 January 2018.
The company’s Board of Directors had originally been granted a moratorium in mid-August this year. In September an extension of the company’s moratorium was requested and the deadline was extended until 4 December. During the moratorium period extensive work has been directed at the necessary analyses of United Silicon’s activities and possible routes for improvements reviewed. Efforts have been directed especially at resolving those objections which have been raised by supervisory bodies to the company’s operations.
Some 60 persons are employed at the plant who have worked in part on maintenance since production was suspended at the beginning of September.
For further information contact Karen Kjartansdóttir, spokesperson for United Silicon, tel. +354 692 9797.
Stjórn United Silicon hefur ráðið Þórð Magnússon sem forstjóra fyrirtækisins. Þórður útskrifaðist sem eðlisfræðingur frá Háskóla Íslands árið 1996 og sem doktor í efnisfræði (e. Material Science) frá Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) árið 2000. Þórður gegndi áður stöðu framleiðslustjóra í járnblendiverksmiðju Elkem á Grundartanga. Þórður hefur að undanförnu gegnt stöðu aðstoðarforstjóra United Silicon.
Þá hefur stjórn United Silicon gert starfslokasamning við Helga Þórhallsson, sem tók við stöðu forstjóra fyrirtækisins í apríl 2015. Helgi er efnaverkfræðingur og hefur hann komið að mörgum kísilverkefnum um allan heim, m.a. í Kína og Inónesíu fyrir utan Noreg og Ísland og á nær 40 ára starfsreynslu í kísiliðnaði.
Nánari upplýsingar veitir Karen Kjartansdóttir, talsmaður United Silicon, í síma 6929797.
A Shareholders’ Meeting of United Silicon hf. was convened, 19 September 2017. Arion Bank and five Icelandic pension funds have taken over pledged shares and now own 98.13% of the company’s shares.
The meeting elected Þórður Ólafur Þórðarson as a new member of the board of directors. Other members of the board are the chairman, Jakob Bjarnason and Sigrún Ragna Ólafsdóttir.
Earlier this month, the District Court of Reykjanes granted an extension of a moratorium for three months, or until 4 December 2017.
The Board of Directors will continue its work on the company’s restructuring and has full support from all shareholders in attempting to seek new investors for the company and negotiate with them.
For further information contact Karen Kjartansdóttir, spokesman for United Silicon, tel. +354 692 9797.
News Announcement from United Silicon hf.
Suspicion of criminal conduct of the former CEO and founder of United Silicon
The Board of Directors of United Silicon, in consultation with the company’s attorney and Appointee in moratorium, sent a formal complaint to the Office of the District Prosecutor concerning the possible criminal conduct of the former CEO and founder of United Silicon.
The complaint is based on suspicion of large-scale embezzlement and forgery, extending as far back as 2014, and is submitted in consultation with other stakeholders. The details which have now come to light are the results of work on restructuring the company, which has been under the management of a new Board of Directors since February. The suspect has had no involvement in the company’s operations or management since March. Company management will co-operate with the authorities to facilitate the rapid investigation of the case.
The case has been reviewed with employees of United Silicon and the situation explained to them.
For further information contact Karen Kjartansdóttir, spokesperson for United Silicon, tel. +354 692 9797.
5 September 2017 – The District Court of Reykjanes yesterday granted United Silicon (USi) a three-month extension of the moratorium granted 14 August, until 4 December. Helgi Jóhannesson, hrl. has been retained as administrator for the moratorium period and that has been confirmed by the court. The extension is intended to enable the company to restructure its finances and implement an upgrade plan based on advice from external experts. The aim is to make USi financially and operationally sustainable in the long run.
USi’s Board of Directors is working diligently with the company’s creditors in restructuring the company finances. The financial difficulties are primarily due to the operational challenges in USi’s factory in Helguvík, which can be traced to recurrent equipment malfunctions that have caused considerable damage to the company. The additional three months will therefore also be used to further analyse technical challenges, plan repairs, and execute the necessary upgrades.
The global market outlook for the factory’s products is positive and prices have been increasing. Future prospects are therefore good, provided that the financial restructuring is successful and funds for necessary improvements are made available.
In a letter from the Environment Agency of Iceland (EAI) from 1 September 2017, the company was notified of the EAI‘s conclusion that a restart of the USi furnace in Helguvík will require a written authorization from the EAI following sufficient improvements and thorough analysis of those by the EAI.
The Board takes very seriously its responsibility to operate the factory in good agreement with the local community and monitoring authorities and in full compliance with laws and operating licence. In the coming months, USi’s board and management will be working to reorganize the factory’s operations to make the company financially sustainable for the future. The board is focused on ensuring the interests of the company’s creditors and its employees, as well as the interests of the local municipality, which stands to benefit financially from the company operations in the future. A part of that task is to ensure that the company will be sufficiently financed to make the necessary investments to improve the operation of the factory.
In its previous reply to the EAI, USi listed several projects for repair and improvement that have already been identified and planned and will be executed during the coming months. The EAI’s decision requires a further analysis of possible repairs and improvements and a timeline for implementing these. Multiconsult, a leading firm of consulting engineers and designers in Norway and Scandinavia, has been working with United Silicon since late spring and will continue to be its key adviser for the upgrade process in the months ahead. The Norwegian Air Research Institute (NILU) was retained by Multiconsult last spring to research and analyse the outflow from the factory and will continue that work.
The board is also working to further strengthen the company infrastructure. Layoffs are not planned and company employees will work on repairs and improvements as well as receiving further training during the period of the moratorium. The company’s human resources are a valuable asset.
Furthermore, the company has retained the services of Karen Kjartansdóttir as a spokesperson for the coming months. She has an extensive background in the media and was the Director of Communications for Fisheries Iceland 2013-2016 before joining the PR & Consulting firm Aton in 2017. The board has also retained the services of Kristinn Bjarnason to support the board in an advisory capacity. He is one of the country’s most experienced corporate lawyers, with extensive experience in working for companies under moratorium.
For more information:
Karen Kjartansdottir, United Silicon Spokesperson, mobile +354-692 9797 and e-mail email@example.com.
Stjórn United Silicon hefur móttekið bréf Umhverfisstofnunar frá 23. ágúst og mun svara því eins og stofnunin gefur kost á. Stjórnin tekur sem fyrr mjög alvarlega þá ábyrgð sem á henni hvílir við að tryggja áframhaldandi rekstur fyrirtækisins í góðri samvinnu við nærsamfélagið og eftirlitsstofnanir.
Stjórn United Silicon leggur sem fyrr áherslu á mikilvægi þess að tryggja rekstur fyrirtækisins á þann veg að unnt sé að finna lausn á þeim vandamálum sem komið hafa upp í rekstrinum undanfarna mánuði. Það er forsenda þess að fyrirtækið geti starfað til lengri tíma litið.
Stjórnin tekur alvarlega þær áhyggjur sem liggja að baki ályktun bæjarráðs Reykjanesbæjar í dag og leggur áherslu á vilja sinn til að reka fyrirtækið í sátt við nærumhverfið.
Fyrirtækið fékk í vor til liðs við sig alþjóðlega sérfræðinga í fremstu röð til að finna lausn á lyktarvanda og þeim óþægindum sem hann hefur valdið. Þeir hafa þróað mælingaáætlun með norsku loftgæðarannsóknastofnuninni (NILU) og unnið hefur verið eftir henni undanfarna mánuði. Fyrstu niðurstöður NILU benda til þess að ekki sé í útblæstri verksmiðjunnar efni sem skaðleg geta verið heilsu manna, en stofnunin telur að frekari rannsókna sé þörf til að greina til fulls hvaða efni valdi óþægindum og lykt. Umhverfisstofnun hefur tekið í sama streng í yfirlýsingu sinni 7. júlí sl. þar sem m.a. var sagt að nauðsynlegt væri að fá frekari mælingar á þessum efnum til að meta betur hugsanleg heilsufarsáhrif mengunarinnar. Ef áfram verður haldið með verkefnið mun á næstu vikum vonandi takast að greina betur hvaða efni valda óþægindum og lykt og þróa leiðir til að eyða þeim eða koma í veg fyrir að þau myndist. Stöðvun verksmiðjunnar nú myndi ekki skila neinum árangri í þeirri vinnu og skapa fullkomna óvissu um áframhald rannsókna, framtíðarrekstur, störf starfsmanna og hagsmuni kröfuhafa.
Vegna lagfæringa á rafskauti í ljósbogaofni United Silicon var slökkt á ofninum nú undir kvöld. Unnið er að viðgerð. Lykt gæti borist frá verksmiðjunni í kvöld og nótt.
The District Court of Reykjanes has today granted the board of directors of United Silicon ehf. an authorisation for a moratorium, with the goal of reaching agreements with creditors regarding outstanding debts. The request is due to operational difficulties of the company‘s silicon factory in Helguvík, that can be traced to recurrent equipment malfunctions that have caused great damages to the company. Due to these operational difficulties, the company will have difficulties in making debt payments to its creditors, and individual creditors are expected to take actions against the company if it does not react immediately. A recent ruling of an arbitral tribunal in the company‘s dispute with ÍAV has increased the level of uncertainty, as an agreement regarding payment of the debts in dispute has not been settled.
Since the factory began operation, its shareholders have provided additional capital stock to finance the company‘s operations and to make improvements to the equipment, as well as general facilities for operations and employees. It is now clear that even more improvements to the equipment and facilities are necessary for the factory to produce both the quantity and the quality of product as originally intended, and without the smell pollution that local inhabitants have complained about.
The company‘s board of directors are of the opinion that a moratorium should create enough leeway to make the necessary changes to ensure the normal operations of the factory. The market outlook is positive and prices have been increasing. Future prospects are therefore good, given that the necessary additional finances can be secured, creditors can be negotiated with, and the operation can be reconfigured. The authorisation for a moratorium was necessary in order to turn the operations around, and to collaborate with the creditors with the goal of reaching agreements regarding outstanding debts. The board takes the responsibility of operating a large company with a great number of employees and producing income for the near community, very seriously. Reaching agreements on outstanding debts is the best way to protect jobs and to ensure that the development of the factory operations will continue, so that the company can continue to operate in accordance with its official authorisation and in harmony with the environment.
Further information will be provided when the company’s directors have met and consulted with a moratorium assistant, following his advice.
Kvartað hefur verið undan lykt frá verksmiðju United Silicon undanfarna daga. Ástæðan er sú að ofninn var keyrður á skertu álagi vegna vandamála með eitt rafskautið í ofninum.
Í gærkvöldi var því slökkt á ofninum þannig að hægt væri að stytta rafskautið og koma rekstri ofnsins í jafnvægi. Unnið var að þessu alla síðustu nótt og lauk verkinu í morgun. Ofninn var svo settur inn aftur klukkan 11:40 í morgun og verður keyrður upp samkvæmt venjubundnu uppkeyrsluplani. Búast má við lykt frá verksmiðjunni meðan á uppkeyrslunni stendur og vindátt er til bæjar.
Beðist er velvirðingar á þeim óþægindum sem fólk verður fyrir vegna þessa. Af þessu tilefni viljum við þó minna á niðurstöður mælinga á losun frá verksmiðjunni. Norska loftgæðastofnunin, NILU hefur annast mælingarnar og samkvæmt þeim berast ekki hættuleg efni í skaðandi mæli frá verksmiðjunni. Þetta á við bæði íbúa í Reykjanesbæ og starfsmenn verksmiðjunnar. Umhverfisstofnun og United Silicon eru að vinna að frekari mælingum á greiningu efna sem borist gætu frá verksmiðjunni.
Kristleifur Andrésson 669 6017