Altech pockets $5 million for part sale of subsidiary

Altech pockets $5 million for part sale of subsidiary

ASX and Frankfurt-listed Altech Batteries has received A$5.12 million as part of two deferred instalment payments from Altech Advanced Materials (AAM) for the purchase of 25 per cent of its subsidiary Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG). The final instalment of 1.583 million euros, about A$2.5 million, is payable by AAM in December 2023.

Altech Batteries sold 25 per cent of German subsidiary AIG to Frankfurt-listed AAM in December 2020. Altech Batteries retains ownership of the remaining 75 per cent of AIG. AAM paid an initial 250,000 euros, or A$415,000, upon executing the contract and the deferred payments are now starting to drop.

The original objective of establishing AAM on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was to attract investment from the European market and establish some local German ownership and presence in our projects. AAM has completed a very successful fundraising program which will support their 25% of the Silumina Anode and Cerenergy Battery projects.

On June 30 last year, Altech Batteries owned 27.1 per cent of Frankfurt-listed AAM.

Altech has three battery-focussed projects and products including its “Silumina” lithium-ion battery anode product, its “Cerenergy” batteries that run almost exclusively on table-variety salt and a proposed 4500t per annum high-purity alumina project.

Altech’s Cerenergy batteries are seen by the company to be a game-changing grid power storage alternative to lithium-ion and vanadium batteries. Altech says, unlike ordinary lithium-ion batteries, its Cerenergy batteries are fire and explosion-proof with a class-beating life span of more than 15 years. They are able to operate in extreme cold and desert climates, unlike lithium-ion batteries. In addition to the table salt used, Cerenergy batteries also use a touch of nickel, however they do not require other expensive battery metals such as cobalt, graphite and lithium.

Altech is planning to develop a 100MWh per annum Cerenergy battery at its site in the German state of Saxony in joint venture with Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation Fraunhofer. Fraunhofer originally developed the Cerenergy sodium alumina solid-state battery and retains 25 per cent of a joint venture company to commercialize the technology. AIG owns the remaining 75 per cent and AIG is in turn 75 per cent owned by Altech Batteries and 25 owned by AAM.

AIG also holds a licence from Altech Batteries to develop and commercialise the companies’ Silumina anode technology. AIG has commenced a definitive feasibility study for the development of a 10,000 tonne per annum silicon-graphite alumina coating plant located on Altech Batteries’ site in Saxony. The target market is the rapidly-growing European electric vehicle sector.

The company claims to have cracked the “silicone code”, enabling a 30 per cent higher energy battery with improved battery life using its new technology. The higher-energy density battery will be smaller, lighter and will produce less greenhouse gases over the product cycle. The project has received green accreditation from the independent Norwegian Centre of International Climate and Environmental Research.

Market interest appears to be high, with AIG executing non-disclosure agreements with two German automobile makers and a European battery company. Altech and AIG are racing to get the patented technology to market to capitalise on the electric vehicle boom currently underway around the world.

The $5.12m already received will be a welcome boost for Altech, which is rapidly building itself a reputation as a technology warehouse – and given its common theme appears to be the new energy revolution, it just might find itself in the right space at the right time.

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