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 karen@aton.is.