Outstanding PFS for Silumina Anodes Project
The plant would be constructed by Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG), (ownership: 75% Altech, 25% Frankfurt stock exchange listed Altech Advanced Materials AG (AAM)), and would produce high capacity silicon/graphite battery anode materials "Silumina AnodesTM" under exclusive license from Altech. Silumina AnodesTM products are targeted to supply the burgeoning European electric vehicle market.
- Highly positive preliminary feasibility study for 10,000tpa Silumina AnodesTM project
- Low capital cost (US$95 million) with outstanding economics
- Pre-tax Net Present Value (NPV8) of US$507 million
- Attractive Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 40%
- Site in Saxony, Germany already purchased
- Green accredited project using renewable energy
- European high quality graphite and silicon supply
- Pilot plant engineering for product qualification underway
- NDA executed with two German automakers and one European battery maker
With a capital investment of US$95 million, the Company estimates a project net present value of US$507 million (NPV8), with net cash of US$63 million per annum generated from operations. The internal rate of return is estimated at 40%, with investment capital paid back in approximately 3.1 years. Total annual revenue at the 10,000tpa full rate of production is estimated US$185 million per annum.
Managing Director, Mr Iggy Tan, stated "Whilst Altech's top priority continues to be financing its Johor HPA project, the Silumina AnodesTM project represents an exciting downstream opportunity to utilise its HPA coating technology in silicon/graphite battery materials. We are pleased and excited about the results of the 10,000tpa Silumina AnodesTM PFS. Due to the attractive economics of the study, a decision has been made by the AIG board to immediately progress to a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project. AIG has already purchased land in Germany suitable for the project, and the plan is for the AIG team in Saxony to immediately commence DFS work. We believe that the production of Silumina AnodesTM materials could be a game changing technology for the lithium-ion battery industry".
Tesla, a global leader in the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery industry, has declared that the required step change to increase lithium-ion battery energy density and reduce costs is to introduce silicon in battery anodes, as silicon has ~ten times the energy retention capacity compared to graphite. Silicon metal has been identified as the most promising anode material for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries.
However, until now, silicon was unable to be used in commercial lithium-ion batteries due to two critical drawbacks. Firstly, silicon particles expand by up to 300% in volume during battery charge, causing particle swelling, fracturing and ultimately battery failure. The second challenge is that silicon deactivates a high percentage of the lithium ions in a battery. Lithium ions are rendered inactive by the silicon, immediately reducing battery performance and life. Industry has been in a race to crack the silicon barrier.
Through in-house research and development, Altech announced late last year that it has cracked the "silicon code" and successfully achieved 30% higher energy retention in a lithium-ion battery, with improved cyclability and battery life. Higher density batteries result in smaller, lighter batteries and substantially less greenhouse gases, and are destined for the EV market. To achieve its breakthrough, Altech successfully combined silicon particles that had been treated with its innovative and patented alumina coating technology, with alumina coated battery grade graphite, producing the Silumina AnodesTM product. So far, the major drawbacks outlined above for using silicon in lithium-ion battery anodes, have been substantially overcome with Altech's Silumina AnodesTM product.
The European graphite and silicon feedstock supply partners for AIG's plant in Saxony will be SGL Carbon GmbH (SGL) and Ferroglobe Innovation S.L. (Ferroglobe), respectively. The project has already received green accreditation from the independent Norwegian Centre of International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). To support the development, AIG has commenced construction of a pilot plant in Germany, at a location adjacent to the proposed site of 10,000tpa plant. Product from the pilot plant will be provided to potential buyers, such as automakers, to fast-track the Silumina AnodesTM product qualification process. AIG already has non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in place with two German automakers, as well as with a European based lithium-ion battery manufacturing company.
*To view full details of the PFS, 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