Australian innovator Altech Chemicals Limited announced a significant alteration in their high-purity alumina (HPA) roadmap yesterday when it advised investors that the firm changed its principal contractor for constructing its planned HPA plant in Malaysia.
Altech selected Germany’s SMS group GmbH as its engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, replacing compatriots M+W Group, who were originally chosen for the task in February. Altech justified the change by indicating that M+W was unable to provide a throughput guarantee for the plant, which is a requirement for successfully applying for a German export credit finance cover.
In addition to providing the necessary throughput guarantee, Altech says SMS is offering them process and final product quality guarantees, commissioning and start-up responsibilities, a US$100,000 initial subscription of Altech shares, and project equity or subordinated debt support at the project’s financial close.
“The appointment of SMS as EPC contractor for the proposed Malaysian HPA plant, although only recently envisaged, will be a huge positive for the project,” opined Altech’s managing director Iggy Tan. “Not only does SMS have prior experience with the Company’s kaolin to HPA hydrogen chloride acid leaching process, it has demonstrated its confidence in Altech and the process with an initial US$100,000 equity investment pledge and project equity or subordinated debt support upon financial close. SMS also has extensive experience with German ECA cover and is amongst the top three users of this facility in Germany.”
Altech Chemicals is based in Subiaco, Western Australia and is attempting to develop a marketable process for delivering 99.99% (4N) HPA. It plans to construct a 4,000 metric ton per annum HPA plant at Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, Johor, Malaysia. The firm is fast-tracking HPA production due to an agreement with Mitsubishi for 100% of its proposed HPA production for ten years. At present, Altech intends to commence project development in the third quarter of this year.