Industry & Market:
Rolls-Royce, Metalysis to Set Up Tantalum Plant

Nikkei Electronics Asia -- February 2007

Rolls-Royce plc and Metalysis Ltd will set up one of the largest tantalum plants outside Britain in Malaysia by September 2007. The plant, located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in the northern state of Kedah, is expected to have an annual capacity of 100 tonnes of  high purity tantalum powder per year when fully operational, equivalent to about 10% of global production.

A Malaysian subsidiary, Metalysis Malaysia Sdn Bhd, has been formed to lead the R&D using the Fray-Farthing-Chen (FCC) Cambridge process to produce the supergrade tantalum.

Tantalum is a high-value metal used in the production of electronic components, and is mainly used in capacitors, mobile phones, PCs and automotive electronics. The FFC process, developed by academics at Cambridge University's Materials Department, is a novel method for the extraction of metals and alloys from their solid oxides by molten salt electrolysis.

The new process is claimed to be simpler and consumes less energy, making it more environmentally-friendly than many current industrial technologies, such as the Kroll process. It helps achieve cheaper production of useful reactive metals such as titanium, zirconium and tantalum.

Metalysis Ltd is a Cambridge University spin-off company set up in 2002 to exploit the industrial process based on the FFC technology. According to Metalysis chief executive, Dr Graham Cooley, "Tantalum powder is a first product for the company and a good platform upon which to build strong revenue growth in future."

Supporting Malaysia

Rolls-Royce is funding the R&D facility with US$5 million, in support of the country's industrialization efforts.

"We are particularly pleased to have been able to secure the development of this leading-edge technology exclusively to Malaysia, as a further demonstration of our long-standing commitment to the country. Malaysia is a key market for Rolls-Royce and we look forward to continuing a long and rewarding relationship," said Rolls-Royce chief executive, Sir John Rose.

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said Rolls-Royce has provided Malaysia with an entry point into the global advanced materials market. "We hope to see more companies setting up such ventures in Malaysia to take advantage of the competitive cost and contribute to the enhancement of our technological capabilities," he said.

Metalysis Ltd will hold a 52% stake in the joint venture while Rolls-Royce and the government-funded Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC) will each have a 24% stake in Metalysis Malaysia.

The Malaysian government (via MTDC) plans to raise an additional US$10 million to finance the production facility in Kulim.
by Julian Matthews








NE Asia Online Part Search
Terms Of Use | Powered by

Advertising Links



You can subscribe to the magazines of NikkeiBP from outside Japan at the same price as in Japan!

Nikkei Electronics Nikkei Electronics  (biweekly)

The magazine for electronics designers and managers.

Nikkei Microdevices Nikkei Microdevices  (monthly)

The most comprehensive technical journal for makers and users of LSIs and LCDs.

Nikkei Monozukuri Nikkei Monozukuri  (monthly)

The solutions magazine for design and manufacturing.

Nikkei Automotive Technology Nikkei Automotive Technology  (quarterly)

The comprehensive automotive technology magazine.

Magazine Subscription Information


We are offering a monthly magazine to qualified engineers and managers free of charge.

Nikkei Electronics Asia Nikkei Electronics Asia  (monthly)

NE Asia fulfills your needs by offering articles covering a wide spectrum of topics. In addition to the English edition, the local editions for Taiwan and Korea now offer editorial sections written by local editors.

Magazine Subscription Information

For free subscription submit your application from here.
Geographic Eligibility (Edition) Medium (Click where applicable)
Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand (English) Magazine + e-newsletter
E-newsletter only
India (English) Digital magazine + e-newsletter
E-newsletter only
(Complex Chinese)
Magazine + e-newsletter
E-newsletter only
South Korea(Korean) Magazine + e-newsletter
E-newsletter only
Other countries/regions E-newsletter only
*Readers from other countries/regions who want to receive Nikkei Electronics Asia printed magazine may consider paid subscription.
Please contact NE Asia Circulation Department for details.