Altech inks German deal to fast-track battery tests

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Altech Chemicals’ Managing Director, Iggy Tan, right, at a Fraunhofer testing centre in Germany.
Camera IconAltech Chemicals’ Managing Director, Iggy Tan, right, at a Fraunhofer testing centre in Germany. Credit: File

Altech Chemicals has executed a framework agreement with Fraunhofer IKTS to accelerate the testing and qualification process for its battery-boosting Silumina Anodes product. The company is looking to lather the silicone and graphite-infused substance over lithium-ion batteries to deliver battery anodes with a 30 per cent higher retention capacity over non-coated items.

Fraunhofer is one of the world’s leading authorities on battery material research. It recently opened a battery innovation centre in Arnstadt, in central-east Germany, adding to a raft of technical centres speckled throughout the country.

Altech’s key objective is for Fraunhofer to independently assess the long-term performance of its Silumina Anodes across a suite of battery-based functions.

Management believes Fraunhofer’s test work could blaze a commercial path for its product and allow it to get the material to market quicker.

It says Fraunhofer’s extensive experience in the sector along with its long list of partners could provide an ideal avenue to test its product across a wide range of battery-based applications and importantly open up a raft of opportunities to market the material to downstream customers.

Altech is close to setting up a 10,000 tonne per year Silumina Anodes pilot plant in the German State of Saxony, recently signing a final construction contract with developer Kuttner GmbH and Co.

The company will coat its Silumina Anodes material with high-purity alumina or “HPA” using its proprietary alumina coating technology – ultimately pushing out batteries with higher retention and longevity.

Altech hopes to market its product to a number of European battery manufacturers and car makers.

Its plant construction contract comes after a preliminary feasibility study, or “PFS” for the anode coating plant that estimated a capital investment of US$95 million could produce a pre-tax net present value of US$507 million.

Altech’s PFS indicated that once up and running, the company could generate a healthy net cash amount of US$63 million per year.

Remarkably, one of the key findings of the study was that at full pelt, the plant could deliver about US$185 million a year.

Tesla’s visionary CEO, Elon Musk recently declared that a critical step to reducing the cost of lithium-ion batteries and improving their energy density was to use more silicon in battery anodes. With this in mind, Altech Chemical’s product could be right at the tip of the spear.

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

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