The Company has completed the final design phase for the front-end calciners as well as the corresponding plant layout. To complete the Definitive Feasibility Study, a more comprehensive engineering design was necessary, for it to be sourced and priced from suppliers. The calciners, which have been designed in- house, are of the packed bed type and are intended to operate at temperatures around 600 degrees Celsius. These calciners play a crucial role in the Silumina AnodesTM process, wherein they facilitate the conversion of aluminum chloride present on the surface of graphite and silicon particles into alumina. This innovative coating technology has been developed by Altech. Notably, a distinctive feature of these calciners is the utilisation of 3D-printed silicon carbide linings. These linings are employed to effectively handle the acidic atmosphere during the calcination process. Altech's process places significant emphasis on managing impurities, highlighting its importance in the overall production process.
The design of the calciner and cooler has progressed to a more advanced stage by incorporating manufacturing and stress test data from the research plant's component production and testing phase. This evolution in design has resulted from comprehensive testing that has refined the dimensions of the dryers, calciners, and coolers for the DFS. The finalised design now consists of two dryers and a four-circuit calciner/cooler configuration. The geometry of the calciners and cooler has undergone refinement, leading to the optimisation of a twin-chamber design. This design choice results in lighter modules that facilitate both assembly and maintenance processes. Additionally, the components have been meticulously designed to remain within the constraints of available manufacturing equipment size and capabilities.
Efforts to advance manufacturing discussions are underway, with ongoing detailed conversations held with leading Silicon Carbide (SiC) vendors in Europe, strategically located in proximity to the Spreetal plant. These discussions center around the suitability of the DFS plant design for 3D printing, encompassing aspects such as material selection optimisation, manufacturing processes, standardisation, and production consistency.
Considering the specialised demands of the battery coating process, the manufacturing techniques required are cutting-edge and incorporate the latest advancements in SiC industry technology. This dynamic collaboration involving Altech, Australian designers, Specialist Dryer technology Vendors, and German manufacturers has paved the way for continuous development of the SiC components essential for the drying and calcination phases.
The advancement of the Silumina AnodesTM Definitive Feasibility Study is on track, and notable progress has been made. The Company has obtained final quotations from essential suppliers, and work on the conclusive design of civil and site infrastructure is currently underway. Concurrently, Arikon has initiated initial dialogues with regulatory authorities to initiate the permitting process for the Schwarze Pumpe project. Up to this point, favourable cooperation and backing have been observed from both local authorities and regulatory entities.
The Company has previously concluded a Preliminary Feasibility Study concerning the establishment of a 10,000tpa Silumina AnodesTM plant located in Saxony, Germany, which has yielded a remarkable NPV of US$507M. As Altech accelerates its efforts to introduce its patented technology to the market, it has initiated the construction of a pilot plant in close proximity to the intended project site. This pilot plant's primary objective is to support the qualification process for the Silumina AnodesTM product. It will have the capability to supply interested customers with commercial samples to facilitate their testing and qualification procedures.
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About Altech Batteries Ltd:
Altech Batteries Limited (ASX:ATC) (FRA:A3Y) is a specialty battery technology company that has a joint venture agreement with world leading German battery institute Fraunhofer IKTS ("Fraunhofer") to commercialise the revolutionary CERENERGY(R) Sodium Alumina Solid State (SAS) Battery. CERENERGY(R) batteries are the game-changing alternative to lithium-ion batteries. CERENERGY(R) batteries are fire and explosion-proof; have a life span of more than 15 years and operate in extreme cold and desert climates. The battery technology uses table salt and is lithium-free; cobalt-free; graphite-free; and copper-free, eliminating exposure to critical metal price rises and supply chain concerns.
The joint venture is commercialising its CERENERGY(R) battery, with plans to construct a 100MWh production facility on Altech's land in Saxony, Germany. The facility intends to produce CERENERGY(R) battery modules to provide grid storage solutions to the market.
Altech Batteries Ltd
Altech Chemicals Limited
Chief Financial Officer
Altech Chemicals Limited