Simcoa Operations Ltd has a charcoal and silicon plant in operation in Kemerton, Western Australia.
Simcoa has a 15-year contract to buy 150,000 tonnes a year of "firewood quality" jarrah logs for use as charcoal in the silicon-making process. Because of a State Agreement Act and the log supply contract, both dating back to the late 1980's, the new Labor government will continue supplying Simcoa with jarrah. The company has stopped buying green jarrah logs; however, it still buys dry jarrah logs, for which it pays around $6.25/tonne as the royalty for the wood. It now takes less than a third of the amount of logs it is allowed under its contract. Substitutes like plantation timber, which costs more than jarrah, could be used to a greater extent. Simcoa is one of the beneficiaries of the long-term, ongoing over-exploitation of the jarrah forest.
Simcoa also consumes 8% of W.A.'s electricity, at very reduced rates!
Note that this WA plant includes silicon smelter as well as a charcoal plant. Only a charcoal plant is planned for Mogo.
...and does it produce pollutants?
Photographs and information on this page are from the Western Australian Forest Alliance (click on Photos, then Simcoa)