During the 2016/2017 year Altech continued to work closely with German government-owned KfW IPEX-Bank on debt finance structuring and the satisfaction of independent project due diligence. From August 2016 the Company was subject to an extensive independent due diligence program by KfW IPEXBank's appointed technical, legal, environmental and market expert consultants. The successful due diligence program concluded in August 2017 with no fatal flaws identified in the HPA project.
A Final Investment Decision Study (FIDS) then confirmed the robust financial metrics for the development of a 4,500tpa HPA plant at Johor, Malaysia and kaolin mine at Meckering, Western Australia. The FIDS incorporated up-to-date project assumptions including the final capital cost estimate, which included a fixed-price lump-sum EPC contract value for the construction of the Malaysian HPA plant by a consortium led by German engineering firm and EPC contractor SMS group GmbH (SMS). Based on the positive FIDS results, the Altech board resolved to proceed to the next stage, the ECA application process.
A positive ECA decision will mean Altech attains the US$165 million "offer of cover" for the majority of the project debt and as the bank approvals process will run in parallel, the total target debt amount of US$ 185 million.
Assuming that the ECA debt component is approved around mid-December 2017, the Company will focus on finalising the equity component of funding in the first half of 2018.
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About Altech Chemicals Ltd
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. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of synthetic sapphire.
Global HPA demand is approximately 25,315tpa (2016) and demand is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% (2016-2024), primarily driven by the growth in worldwide adoption of LEDs. As an energy efficient, longer lasting and lower operating cost form of lighting, LED lighting is replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs.
Altech Chemicals Ltd