Site establishment work is now underway and once this is completed stage I construction will begin.
Altech aims to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) HPA and this will be produced at the plant.
READ: Altech Chemicals marks key milestone towards commencing high purity alumina plant construction
Establishment works that are underway or about to commence, include:
- Hoarding of the entire project area;
- Construction of access ways into and within the site;
- Project signage;
- Establishment of a site office, guardhouse and security; and
- Mobilisation of the construction plant and equipment.
After submitting the development order to local authorities in November last year, the company was advised that the order timeline would take around 6- 8 weeks.
Safety inductions have been completed for all sub-contractors involved in site establishment activities.
Subsequent stage I construction work will include construction of retaining walls, maintenance workshop foundation piling, bulk earthworks.
It will also comprise construction of the site substation and maintenance workshop, which will be used as covered storage during stage II of the HPA plant construction.
The majority of these works are funded and pre-paid to the EPC contractor, which will be credited against the US$280 million lump sum fixed price HPA plant EPC contract.
Altech’s 4,500 tonnes per annum plant forms an important part of an integrated HPA strategy which incorporates kaolin clay sourced from the company’s kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia.
The production process will employ conventional off-the-shelf plant and equipment to extract HPA using a hydrochloric (HCI) acid-based process.
Altech attended the Battery Osaka conference in Japan last year, which outlined shortages in medium-term HPA supply as well as the growing use of the product in lithium-ion batteries.
Discussions Altech had at the conference made it apparent HPA is increasingly being directly applied as an outer coating layer onto anode and cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries, as well as being used as a coating on polymer separator sheets.
HPA is also used in the production of synthetic sapphire, which is used in LED lights, windows and smart phone components.
Altech managing director Iggy Tan said that the company had intended to operate at the premium end of the HPA market and did not see low-quality HPA producers as competitors.
He said: “Our main target market has always been Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
“It is apparent that HPA pricing continues to be strong and consistent in these markets.”
- Jessica Cummins