Altech Advanced Materials AG
Ansprechpartner: Hansjörg Plaggemars
Tel.: +49 6221 64924-0


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Heidelberg (pta020/28.02.2020/12:05) - Highlights
* Comparative study completed on greenhouse gas reduction and energy savings
* 46% reduction of greenhouse gases per tonne of HPA
* 41% reduction in energy consumption per tonne of HPA
* Reduction of 77 Mt of CO2 pa from transition to LEDs lighting
* HPA supports the lithium-ion battery and renewable energy sectors

Altech Advanced Materials AG ("AAM"; FRA: AMA1) is pleased to provide information regarding the green credentials of Altech Chemicals Australia PTY LTD ("Altech Australia"), disruptive kaolin-alumina high purity alumina (HPA) production process.
Altech Chemicals and AAM has increasingly been requested by potential institutional investors and investment banks, especially in Europe, to demonstrate the green credentials of Altech Australia's disruptive kaolin-alumina high purity alumina (HPA) production process. The current industry standard of producing HPA is the "alkoxide process" (bauxite - refinery - smelter - alkoxide), whereby high grade aluminium metal is used as a feedstock.

In response to these requests, Altech Chemicals has undertaken a detailed "mine to gate" study and compared the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption from the two HPA production methods. The results of the study are that Altech Australia's single step kaolin-alumina HPA production process will release 46% less greenhouse gas per tonne of HPA compared to the alkoxide process.

Altech Australia's process will have a comparative carbon footprint of 6.6 tonne CO2 per tonne of HPA versus 12.3 tonne CO2 per tonne of HPA for the alkoxide production method. In addition, Altech Australia's HPA production process will deliver a 41% reduction of energy consumption per tonne of HPA with estimated energy consumption of 45 GJ per tonne of HPA, versus 77 GJ per tonne of HPA for the conventional bauxite - refinery - smelter - alkoxide HPA process.

The results of the study are unsurprising to Altech Chemicals, as the current industry standard of producing HPA is to re-process high grade aluminium metal which involves dissolving the metal in alcohol, hydrolysing, then calcining back to alumina. This alkoxide process is highly energy intensive as the aluminium metal that is used as feedstock is produced via the Bayer refining process where bauxite is mined then initially processed into smelter grade alumina. The smelter grade alumina is then fed to an energy-intensive aluminium refinery to produce aluminium metal ingots or powder. Current HPA producers cannot use smelter grade alumina to produce HPA due to the sodium impurities that remain from the Bayer process and are driven downstream in the production process to purchase high grade aluminium metal as feedstock. The production of aluminium metal consumes significant amounts of energy - and is high in greenhouse gas emissions.

Altech Austalia's direct process involves the extraction of high purity alumina from a kaolin (alumina silicate) ore feedstock, rather than from expensive aluminium metal, using a hydrochloric acid process. The first advantage of Altech Australia's process is that the kaolin feedstock is extremely "clean" with very low levels of iron compared to bauxite which generates large amounts of red mud waste. The second advantage is that nearly 100% of the hydrochloric acid used in the chemical process is recycled and reused in the process plant. The third advantage is that all heating in the plant uses clean natural gas fuel.

Finally, the process plant in Malaysia is designed to international environmental standards and to satisfy the Equator Principles for lenders. The Equator Principles is a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance. Since the senior debt funding will be provided by KFW IPEX bank, under export credit cover (ECA), the emission standards from the process follow very stringent international standards.

For these reasons Altech Australia's HPA production process is considered to be highly disruptive to established HPA producers and estimated at one third to half the cost of the conventional production process.

HPA Critical to LEDs and Lithium-ion Batteries

HPA is a critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED (light emitting diodes) lights. LEDs are proving to be the environmentally friendly lighting of the future with potential electricity savings of eighty (80%) percent compared to incandescent lighting. The forecast production of LED units is expected to increase from 0.8 billion units to 4.1 billion units by 2025. With this growth, Altech has estimated a reduction of 77 million tonnes of CO2 per annum, just from new LEDs displacing traditional incandescent lighting. Without HPA and synthetic sapphire, this reduction of CO2 would not be possible within the currently estimated timeframe.

Increasingly HPA is used in lithium-ion battery manufacturing as both an important coating for separators and as a coating directly onto battery anodes and cathodes to prevent shrinkage, combustibility and improved battery safety and life. Lithium-ion batteries are the key source of energy storage to support the electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors. HPA is positioned to be a critical ingredient in growing the renewable energy sector.

The Management Board

About Altech Advanced Materials AG

Altech Advanced Materials AG ("AAM") currently plans to acquire up to 49% in Altech Chemicals Australia PTY LTD ("Altech Australia") for up to USD 100 million from Altech. AAM is currently implementing its capital raising strategy to be able to fund the investment.

Altech Australia is currently building a high-purity alumina (99.99%, 4N HPA) production facility for 4,500 tons p.a. in Malaysia and also has its own deposit for the mining of the main raw material kaolin. 4N HPA is needed for the production of LED lights as well as a separator for lithium-ion batteries, e.g. needed for electric vehicles and smartphones. Market demand for 4N HPA is expected to grow with a CAGR of 30% p.a. until 2028. The process patented by Altech Australia allows the production of HPA as cost leader, as the HPA can be obtained directly from kaolin. This allows production without the use of energy-intensive aluminium. The production volume for the first 10 years is secured by an off-take agreement with Mitsubishi Australia and the production capacity and quality is guaranteed by the German plant manufacturer, SMS group GmbH, Dusseldorf, which has also agreed to contribute USD 15 million in equity to the Altech HPA project.

The project has an investment volume of approximately USD 390 million, of which KfW-IPEX Bank has already committed USD 190 million under certain conditions and of which USD 10 million is assumed as equity investment from SMS group GmbH. Altech Chemicals Limited is in talks with Macquarie Bank on the provision of USD 90 million in mezzanine capital. The remaining USD 100 million is to be made available by AAM.

emitter: Altech Advanced Materials AG
Ziegelhäuser Landstraße 3
69120 Heidelberg
contact person: Hansjörg Plaggemars
phone: +49 6221 64924-0
stock exchanges: regulated market in Frankfurt; free market in Dusseldorf; open market in Berlin
ISIN(s): DE000A2BPG14 (share), DE000A2LQUJ6 (share)
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