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Altech nears construction of German battery plant

ASX-listed energy technology company Altech Chemicals is weeks away from getting construction underway at its game-changing battery-boosting production facility in the German state of Saxony after ramping up building activity at the site. A previously completed preliminary feasibility study, or “PFS” suggests the pilot plant could deliver a net present value of US$507 million.

The 10,000 tonne per annum facility will be used to churn out the company’s patented “Silumina Anodes” coated battery anode material and the product will subsequently be sold to a handful of European-based battery and vehicle manufacturers.

Late last year the company combined silicon particles treated with its coating technology across regular battery-grade graphite to produce a lithium-ion battery electrode containing a composite graphite-silicon anode.

Altech found its concoction produced a series of anode materials with a 30 per cent higher retention capacity than traditional anode materials containing graphite only.

The company is now racing against the clock to get its patented, battery-boosting product to market with the German-pilot plant earmarked as a key player in its product delivery.

The company has enlisted the help of German-based developer Kuttner GmbH and Co. to bring the facility to life. Kuttner’s engineering panel is currently looking to complete the site’s operational documentation given the facility’s design work is all but completed.

Altech management believes all long lead equipment for the pilot plant in Dock3 – a rented warehouse space next to Altech’s property in Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park – has already been ordered.

With production sites for Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, Daimler and electric vehicle giant Tesla all strategically located in the same industrial park, Altech could have a line of potential customers literally sitting right on its dootstop.

Given that Tesla’s larger than life CEO recently declared that implementing more silicon in battery anodes is a critical step to reducing the cost of lithium-ion batteries and improving their energy density, the company could be the first door Altech knocks on.

A recent study by leading business research group, BloombergNEF, suggested that by 2040 about 58 per cent of all new manufactured vehicles are projected to be either electric or hybrid. In Germany alone the products are tipped to make up close to half of all vehicle sales by 2025.

The project has also seen a spate of government support of late with German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently paying a visit to Dock3 to review the project’s progress.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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