Altech Chemicals Limited (Altech/the Company) is aiming to become one of
the world's leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (HPA) (Al O ) 2 3
through the construction and operation of a HPA processing plant located in
Johor, Malaysia. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the Company’s
100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia and shipped to
the processing plant in Malaysia.
Altech’s production process will employ conventional “off-the-shelf” plant and
equipment to extract HPA using a hydrochloric (HCl) acid-based process.
Production costs are anticipated to be considerably lower than established
HPA producers - in the bottom quartile of the production cost curve. The
Company's HPA project is a high margin, high value proposition, requiring a
relatively low level of capital investment.
HPA is a high-value, 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
Global HPA demand was estimated at approximately 25,315tpa in 2016
(Persistence Market Research) and is expected to reach 86,831tpa by 2024,
growing at a CAGR of 16.7% (2016-2024).
Current HPA producers predominantly use expensive and highly processed
feedstock materials such as aluminium metal to produce HPA.
Altech has completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the construction
and operation of a 4,000tpa HPA plant at Tanjung Langsat, Malaysia. The
plant will produce HPA directly from kaolin clay, which will be sourced from the
Company’s 100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia.
GROWTH FROM THE
BOOMING LED SECTOR IS
WIDELY RECOGNISED - THIS
GROWTH IS NOW COMPLEMENTED
BY THE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY SECTOR
WHERE ALTECH’S HPA IS EXPECTED
TO BE A HIGHLY SOUGHT-AFTER PRODUCT
HIGH PURITY ALUMINA (HPA)
to be one of the world’s
leading producers of
high purity alumina (HPA)
Ÿ is aluminium oxide Al O with >99.99% (4N) purity2 3
Ÿ is the vital raw ingredient for synethetic
sapphire (single crystal):
- Base substrate for LEDs
- Sapphire glass for smartphone components
99.99% 4N HIGH PURITY ALUMINA (HPA)
GLOBAL HPA DEMAND
According to Persistence Market Research, global consumption of
HPA for 2015 was 21,309tpa, and by the end of 2016, HPA
consumption is estimated at 25,315tpa. This demand is expected
to increase to 86,831tpa by 2024, growing by 16.7% (CAGR) over
the forecast period (2016-2024).
The consumption of HPA is concentrated predominantly in
electronics production hubs such as China, Japan, South Korea,
and Taiwan (Asia Pacific region). The largest market for global
HPA consumption in 2015 was the Asia Pacific region, accounting
for nearly 72% of the global HPA market.
Demand for HPA has witnessed a strong growth over the last
decade fuelled primarily by the increasing demand for and
proliferation of LEDs – televisions, general purpose lighting,
automotive lighting for example.
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
HPA Volume (tpa)
GLOBAL HPA DEMAND FORECAST TO
INCREASE BY 16.7% (CAGR)
GLOBAL HPA DEMAND FORECAST 2016-2024
SOURCE: PERSISTENCE MARKET RESEARCH
USE OF HPA
FOR LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
SEPARATOR SHEETS IS ON THE
RISE AS HPA IMPARTS SUPERIOR
PERFORMANCE PROPERTIES TO
THE END PRODUCT
Lithium-ion Battery Separators
Based on the global push for electric vehicles and energy storage, the
growing demand for lithium-ion batteries is now apparent. Use of HPA for
lithium-ion battery separator coatings is therefore expected to grow rapidly.
HPA is used as a coating on the ceramic separator sheets that divide the
cathode and anode electrodes within the lithium-ion battery. The separator
sheet membrane acts as a critical safety barrier inside the battery. HPA-
coated separators withstand unusually high temperature incursions,
increase battery discharge rates, lower self-discharge, and lengthen battery
Based on discussions with various lithium-ion battery separator sheet
manufacturers at the China International Battery Fair (CIBF) (May, 2016)
the Company established that electric vehicle manufacturers are
demanding lithium-ion batteries with 99.99% (4N) HPA-coated separators.
These manufacturers are reporting usage of between 40-120g of HPA per
battery kilowatt-hour (kWh). Altech reviewed the potential consumption of
HPA from the lithium-ion battery manufacturing sector in China alone, and
estimated that by the end of 2020 demand will reach around 3,936tpa – the
annual production capacity of Altech's proposed HPA plant.
The Company then estimated that demand for HPA from the global lithium-
ion battery manufacturing sector will grow significantly over the next
decade from approximately 1,000tpa in 2016 to around 15,000tpa by 2025,
as per the adjacent graph.
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Altech Chemicals & Deutsche Bank
Markets Research Industry Lithium 101-9
GLOBAL FORECAST HPA DEMAND
HPA USED IN LITHIUM-ION BATTERY SEPARATORS
HPA Coating 5g /m2 or 40 g/kWh
Penetration rate of 6% pa from 2015
HPA IS CURRENTLY BEING SUPPLIED TO
CHINESE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY
SEPARATOR SHEET MANUFACTURERS AT
~RMB200/KG (US$30/KG) –
SUPPORTING ALTECH'S BFS PRICE
ASSUMPTION OF US$23/KG
Dear fellow Shareholders,
It is a great pleasure to present the Company's annual report for the 2015/16
Since the signing of a Project Finance Mandate with KfW lPEX-Bank earlier in the
year, Altech has been working with its banking partners to assist with the due
diligence required to finalise project debt funding. The positive pre-assessment of
the Company's proposed application for export credit insurance cover by Euler
Hermes, the German Export Credit Agency, and the subsequent receipt of loan
indicative terms and conditions from KfW IPEX-Bank for up to US$70m of debt
funding are noteworthy positive steps towards securing finance.
During the year, an off-take sales arrangement with Mitsubishi Corporation's
Australia subsidiary, Mitsubishi Australia Ltd was achieved; the arrangement
appoints Mitsubishi as the exclusive buyer of 100% of Altech's HPA production for an
initial 10 year period.
At Meckering, a granted mining lease and a purchase agreement for the freehold
land beneath which the kaolin resource resides were each secured. An exploration
tenement surplus to Altech's requirements was disposed of, raising $2m. In Johor,
Malaysia, the Company secured a site within the established Tanjung Langsat
Industrial Complex as the location for the HPA plant.
Tunku Yaacob Khyra was invited to join the Company's board in October 2015, with
Mr Uwe Ahrens nominated as his alternate director – we look forward to a long and
successful partnership with them.
During the year the Company raised an initial $3m via a well-supported share
purchase plan, supplemented by share placements. A further $10m was raised in an
oversubscribed private share placement to various institutional, professional and
The year has seen the number of shareholders in the Company almost triple, from
around 650 in July 2015 to almost 1,500 presently, with market capitalisation
growing by a similar multiple.
The outlook for HPA demand continues to remain positive, with forecast demand
increasing over the coming years off the back of global growth in the electric car and
LED lighting sectors.
On behalf of the board, I would like to congratulate managing director lggy Tan, who
has consistently led the Company from challenge to achievement, and to his hard-
working team in bringing the Company to where it is today. Their achievements to
date give me the greatest confidence of their capacity to realise the successful
conclusion of the HPA project.
Finally, as valued shareholders I sincerely thank you for your continuing interest and
support during this exciting period of growth and project realisation.
REVIEW OF OPERATIONS
During the year the Company made considerable progress on advancing the
commercialisation opportunity for its kaolin deposit at Meckering. The proposed
route to commercialisation is the construction of a high purity alumina (HPA) plant at
Johor, Malaysia for the production of 99.99% (4N) HPA (Al O ) and the associated 2 3
development of a kaol