Battery Materials Coating Plant PFS Progress
AIG is continuing to make solid progress. The PFS work has progressed to the engineering design phase for a 10,000 tpa battery materials coating plant, which the study is assessing. The plant would be constructed at the ~14 hectare industrial site that AIG has an option to purchase at the Schwarze Pumpe, Industrial Park, municipality of Spreetal in Saxony, Germany.
PFS work is now focussed on completion of the preliminary process design criteria and the sizing of the mechanical equipment required for each of the plant's process steps. An evaluation process of potential engineering and construction companies in the region has been completed, which is important for the project if it progresses to a definitive feasibility study. Enquiries have also commenced with suppliers for all major equipment packages for pricing purposes, and discussions with potential contractors for major works packages are underway.
The battery material coating process design has also now been completed. The process consists of four stages (see Figure 1*). Stage 1 is a HPA precursor production step using an alternative aluminium feedstock. Stage 2 of the process is the receival of the anode battery material (graphite) in bulk bags or drums. The next step is the HPA nano layer coating process which will take place in the coating section of the plant - this is the proprietary technology that Altech has developed. The last stage in the process is finalisation of the coated material, which is then packaged in either bulk bags or drums for shipment to end users.
As previously identified, the plant design shall integrate equipment which utilise 100% renewable energy from the European electricity market. Detailed discussions on options for supply and pricing of such green electricity have now been completed with local energy retailers for input to plant operating cost estimates.
A local environmental consultant has previously been engaged to complete an assessment of the site conditions and review of historical land use to identify any potential contamination or site remediation works which may be required prior to plant construction. No issues were identified. The consultant has also provided a plan and preliminary schedule for obtaining all necessary environmental and planning permits. The plant and equipment shall be designed in accordance with the local, federal and international environmental regulations in line with these permitting requirements.
The plant layout is being modelled on the Schwarze Pumpe site, and capital and operating cost estimates are being collected for financial modelling of the project. Key operating costs including electricity, water, natural gas, labour and transport have all been sourced.
A market report by Roskill has been completed for the electric vehicle (EV) industry, focussed on the growth of this industry in Europe. A forecast for graphite demand in the lithium-ion battery industry has also been completed. The global market for graphite anode materials is set to expand rapidly with estimates for planned battery Gigafactories in Europe (data from Roskill and Roland Zenn) between 280,000 and 350,000 tpa by 2025, and between 600,000 and 800,000 tpa by 2030.
To assist in the commercializing of its battery materials coating technology, Altech has executed a collaboration agreement with SGL Carbon SE of Germany, Europe's leading graphite producer.
*To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Altech Chemicals Ltd
Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC) (FRA:A3Y) is aiming to become one of the world's leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (Al2O3) through the construction and operation of a 4,500tpa high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant at Johor, Malaysia. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the Company's 100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia and shipped to Malaysia.
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. Increasingly HPA is used by lithium-ion battery manufacturers as the coating on the battery's separator, which improves performance, longevity and safety of the battery. With global HPA demand approximately 19,000t (2018), it is estimated that this demand will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% (2018-2028); by 2028 HPA market demand will be approximately 272,000t, driven by the increasing adoption of LEDs worldwide as well as the demand for HPA by lithium-ion battery manufacturers to serve the surging electric vehicle market.
Altech Chemicals Ltd