Altech Batteries enters new year with plenty of cash and momentum

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By Colin Hay - 
Altech Batteries ASX ATC tech materials quarterly report

Altech Batteries (ASX: ATC) is set for a year of major project milestones with its specialty battery technology developments.

In late December 2023, Altech received around $2.6 million as the final instalment of the sale of a 25% interest in subsidiary Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG).

Under the sale agreement, which was initially announced in December 2020, Altech sold its 25% interest in AIG for around $8.1m.

An initial cash consideration of around $410,000 was received upon the signing of a share sale and purchase agreement, with the deferred consideration amounting to approximately $7.75m payable in three equal instalments.

Altech has now received full payment from Altech Advanced Materials AG (AAM) and retains 75% of AIG.

“We are very pleased with the support of AAM in relation to the acquisition of the 25% of AIG, with AIG being the holder of Altech’s silumina anodes battery materials project,” Altech managing director Iggy Tan said.

According to the company, the final payment will be used to advance Altech’s silumina anodes battery materials project as well as the CERENERGY sodium-chloride solid state battery project.

Pilot plant progressing

At the same time, Altech continues with the construction of the Silumina anodes pilot plant on land it owns in Saxony, Germany.

The project’s potential recently received a boost in the form of positive results from a definitive feasibility study for the full-scale 8,000 tonnes per annum, 120-gigawatt-hour plant.

These results included an impressive net present value of $1.1 billion and a payback period of 2.4 years.

The new pilot plant will produce 120kg per day of Altech’s patented silumina anodes product, which will then be used to assist in securing an end-user offtake agreement.

Altech has already signed non-disclosure agreements with a number of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers.

Under the guidance of AIG, the plant is set to produce cutting-edge silumina anodes strategically aimed at meeting escalating demand in the European and US electric vehicle (EV) and grid storage battery markets.

Positive customer feedback

Altech has already received strong feedback from potential customers who are looking to integrate the Altech-coated silicon into their own battery products.

The rapid progress Altech is making and its strong support from the clean energy sector comes after the company cracked the code for developing a silicon-based battery technology that has been baffling scientists and the lithium-ion battery industry for years.

Through in-house research and development, Altech’s technology breakthrough has successfully achieved 30%-higher energy retention in a lithium-ion battery with improved cyclability and battery life.

Leading global EV and lithium-ion battery developer Tesla has declared that the required step change to increase lithium-ion battery energy density and reduce costs is to introduce silicon in battery anodes, with silicon estimated to be able to provide ten times the energy retention capacity compared to graphite.

It has also been suggested that thinner silicon anodes will enable much faster battery charging.