Altech picks up land for HPA battery plant

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Matt BirneySponsored
Saxony State Minister of Development at AIG’s land handover ceremony.
Camera IconSaxony State Minister of Development at AIG’s land handover ceremony. Credit: File

ASX-listed Altech Chemicals is pressing ahead with its development of a high-purity alumina coating plant for lithium batteries in the German state of Saxony after its 75 per cent owned subsidiary, Altech Industries Germany or “AIG” exercised an option to purchase a 14-hectare industrial site. The company says its newly acquired ground is an ideal location for the 10,000 tonne per annum HPA plant that is currently the subject of a preliminary feasibility study or “PFS”.

AIG only recently put its foot on the new acquisition, officially wrapping up the process with a handover ceremony at the Dock3 facility, directly adjacent to its new ground. In a sign of the project’s national support, the ceremony included a number of key political and industrial dignitaries including the Saxony State Minister for Development.

The 14-acre site, that sits in the bustling Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park in Germany’s eastern rim, is shaping up to be a prominent automotive development hub with a suite of manufacturers including Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, Daimler and Tesla setting up shop in the area. Importantly, the district also boasts a string of high-profile players in the lithium-ion battery space.

The company’s latest purchase comes hot on the heels of a recently inked Memorandum of Understanding with two European-based battery anode material suppliers.

The deal will see SGL Carbon GmbH support AIG’s development of high-purity alumina coated graphite material and Ferroglobe supply silicone anode material to AIG.

Perth-based Altech Chemicals is currently crunching the numbers on a PFS for its proposed HPA coating plant.

According to the company, a key factor in the plant’s design will be its minimal environmental impact and as such it will operate in accordance with German, European and international environmental standards.

AIG is aiming to apply Altech’s proprietary technology to use its HPA coatings to cover precursor battery anode materials at the Saxony plant to develop an advanced product line capable of being used in the bubbling lithium-ion battery segment.

The company recently used its coating technology to produce a string of lithium-ion battery anode materials that featured a 30 per cent higher retention volume over conventional anode materials that contain only graphite. Altech said at the time the use of silicone in lithium-ion batteries was a “breakthrough” and its followers seemed to concur with the company’s shares surging around 30 per cent on the news.

Altech’s development of a battery material coating plant in Germany has taken a critical step forward with the acquisition of an industrial site that could potentially house the plant. If the company can break ground and set up shop in an area that is looking like Europe’s automotive equivalent to Silicon Valley it could find itself at the epi-center of the lucrative electric vehicle revolution.

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