Australian innovator Altech Chemicals Ltd. announced yesterday that it has been offered a commitment of €7,380,000 (~A$12.2million) from the government of the German state of Saxony to build a high-purity alumina plant.
Per the firm, the HPA plant would be constructed at the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park in Spreetal. The grant follows an option to purchase a 10-hectare tract of land at the park, which was inked in mid-July. State and local government officials recently toured the site with representatives from Altech, which also signaled the beginning of a due diligence and feasibility study to determine whether or not another HPA plant could be built in the area.
The Saxony government emphasized its commitment to the project in a recent letter to Altech, as well as pledging the aid of the State Ministry for Economics, Labour and Transport (SMWA) and the Saxony Development Bank (SAB) in the project’s development.
“From an industrial policy point of view, Altech’s project is very much welcomed in the Region, Lausitz. Against the background of the developing electro mobility and the companies already having been established in this industry segment of electric vehicle construction and battery production in this region, synergy effects are expected. Saxony has industrial experience in battery production, especially in nearby Kamenz area, and has advantageous prerequisites as an industrial and research location”
Altech’s managing director Iggy Tan said he found the grant to be encouraging, but he reiterated the firm’s commitment to finishing the plant at Johor, Malaysia.
“In essence, the grant means that if we were to determine that it was commercially viable to construct a second HPA plant in Germany, an amount of ~A$12.2million would be available. Altech however remains focussed on delivering the close of funding for our first HPA plant in Johor, Malaysia and the re-commencement of construction. However, by evaluating this opportunity in Germany we are quickly responding to Europe’s push to bring its supply chains closer to home and to increase its self-reliance for critical raw materials – such as those that are used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. We see this as a potential opportunity that cannot be ignored, especially given Altech’s strong established links to Germany – both on our share register, our board, and the relationships we have built with SMS group and German Government owned KfW IPEX-Bank”
Altech Chemicals is based in Subiaco, Western Australia and is attempting to implement a marketable process for delivering 99.99% (4N) HPA using conventional equipment at a lower production cost than methods currently available. It plans to construct a 4,500 metric ton per annum HPA plant at Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, Johor, Malaysia that will use kaolin clay from a company-owned mine in Meckering, Western Australia. 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 later this year.