Perth, Australia, June 3, 2020 - (ABN Newswire) - Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC.AX - News) (HAM:A3Y.F - News) is pleased to provide an update on the status of activities at the Company's high purity alumina (HPA) site in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where construction activities have now recommenced.
In response to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government imposed a Movement Control Order (MCO) effective 18 March 2020, for an initial period of one month. The MCO resulted in the closure of all non-essential government and private business premises, and consequently the suspension of all construction works and closure of Altech's HPA plant site at Tanjung Langsat. Subsequently, the MCO was extended on four occasions and is currently in effect until 9 June 2020.
However, the Malaysian government recently announced a relaxation of MCO restrictions under a revised Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). The CMCO provides for the recommencement of business activities, such as construction, but only if pre-approval is obtained from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). A key condition of the recommencement of activities is a requirement to implement Standard Operating Procedures that follow the Malaysian Ministry of Health guidelines for COVID-19.
Altech has now received the MITI approval for business recommencement and has implemented the required COVID-19 related workplace standards for personal and workplace hygiene, including individual screening (COVID-19 testing) and social distancing. COVID-19 testing for all personal was completed last week, and final site inspection by the Construction Industry Development Board for verification of implementation of the new procedures has been conducted; this has allowed for the recommencement of construction activities at site.
Prior to the suspension of construction activities in March 2020, work on the electrical substation was nearing completion, with only cosmetic architectural detailing and internal fit out of some mechanical and electrical systems remaining. It is expected that these outstanding works will now be completed by July 2020, followed by rectification of any punch list items and a final handover inspection of the substation to Altech.
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About Altech Chemicals Ltd:
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of synthetic sapphire.
Global HPA demand is approximately 25,315tpa (2016) and demand is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% (2016-2024), primarily driven by the growth in worldwide adoption of LEDs. As an energy efficient, longer lasting and lower operating cost form of lighting, LED lighting is replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs.
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