Altech secures development order for alumina plant

Altech Chemicals continues to progress its high purity alumina project with the ASX listed company securing the development order for construction of its processing plant in Johor, Malaysia.

Site establishment works such as hoarding of the entire site, establishment of the site office and construction of access ways are now underway.

This will be followed by the stage 1 construction works, which include bulk earthworks, construction of retaining walls and a maintenance workshop.

Management said the majority of stage 1 works have been funded and pre-paid to German engineering, procurement and construction contractor, the SMS group.

This will be credited against the USD$280 million lump-sum, fixed-price HPA plant EPC contract.

Altech selected the Tanjung Industrial complex in Johor for the HPA plant based on the significant economic and development benefits, including the ready availability of key consumables such as hydrochloric acid, limestone and quicklime and nearby utilities such as power and natural gas, at very competitive prices.

The availability of skilled labour, proximity to an international container port and international airports pretty well sealed the deal for Altech.

Manufacturing in the area also provides various investment incentives, such as a 5-year corporate tax benefit to businesses utilising the Industrial complex.

Altech will produce up to 4,500 tonnes of HPA at its Johor plant from very pure kaolin clays sourced from a shallow open pit mine near Meckering in WA, which has enough material for about 250 years of production.

HPA is used in high tech applications such as LED lighting, as a separator in lithium-ion batteries and in advanced mobile phones.

US-based market research firm Persistence Market Research has projected that the global HPA market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9% from USD$1.4b in 2014 to USD$3.6b in 2021.

This is due to rising demand for LED lighting and displays, wider use in smartphones and government support for the production of HPA products.

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