05/05/2021 - 21:20

Altech secures space for German HPA study

05/05/2021 - 21:20

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Altech Chemicals continues to power through its pre-feasibility study in Germany that is looking to firm up the economics of building a plant that can make use of Altech’s high purity alumina coating technology. The company has now secured space for a research and development facility adjacent to a 14-hectare site in Saxony where it has extended an option over the site as it completes engineering and marketing studies for the plant.

Altech’s R&D and industrial site at Schwarze Pumpe in eastern Germany. Credit: File

Altech Chemicals continues to power through its pre-feasibility study in Germany that is looking to firm up the economics of building a plant that can make use of Altech’s high purity alumina coating technology. The company has now secured space for a research and development facility adjacent to a 14-hectare site in Saxony where it has extended an option over the site as it completes engineering and marketing studies for the plant.

The company’s 75 per cent owned subsidiary, Altech Industries Germany, or AIG, is leading the feasibility work in Saxony. AIG is looking to construct a plant that can apply HPA coatings to precursor battery anode products for use by a growing horde of lithium battery manufacturers in Europe.

AIG has now secured office and warehouse space in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial estate, 150km south of Berlin, on the outskirts of Spremberg in eastern Germany. The warehouse will house the company’s research and development facility.

Consultants are continuing an assessment of the proposed plant site at Schwarze Pumpe and have found no environmental issues or site conditions that might complicate construction of the HPA coating plant according to the company. AIG has also identified various potential suppliers of raw materials, whilst an assessment of labour and operating costs is well advanced.

Altech is continuing to test and refine its proposed coating plant circuit in preparation for the high-level engineering and manufacturing components of the PFS.

Managing Director of Altech, Iggy Tan said: “The pre-feasibility study is progressing well and meeting all expectations. We are very pleased with the support and encouragement for the study and AIG’s proposed activities that has been received from the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park management and the local municipality of Spreetal.”

Altech is undertaking ground-breaking research into the potential for its HPA coating technology to be used to coat battery anodes that are typically made of graphite, albeit there is an increasing market appetite for the use of silica in the manufacturing of battery anodes for electric vehicles.

Altech has been successfully testing its technology on both graphite and silica particles.

The company’s studies show its HPA coating helps to improve battery efficiency by limiting performance losses during recharge and discharge and increasing the life of the battery.

Altech has now developed a proprietary technology to apply coatings to a variety of anodic materials and is proposing to build a 10,000 tonne per annum plant to feed the growing battery market in Europe – a market that is expected to consume some 500,000 tonnes of anode material by 2025.

The EU has legislated a raft of legislation to curb carbon emissions, with many quotas coming into effect in 2030 which is hastening the adoption of both renewable energy sources and EVs. Altech is looking to piggy-back on the consumer and governmental behavioural shift towards electric vehicles in the automotive markets that is now looking to be unstoppable.

The company will ultimately be looking to source the feedstock for its HPA product from its Meckering kaolin deposit in Western Australia, with the raw product being refined into HPA at Altech’s proposed facility in Malaysia.

HPA product will then be shipped to Germany for use in the Saxony plant, with the company’s collaborative partner in Europe, SGL Carbon, potentially supplying graphitic feed and engineering expertise to the operation.

Altech has extended its 12-month option over the industrial site south of Spremberg, however with a research and development base now secured and the EV market growing by the day, the company will no doubt be looking to quickly polish off its PFS in Germany and position itself to be a high-value cog in an accelerating and increasingly lucrative wheel.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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