Altech wraps up Q4 wins in the EU, flags proposed change of company name

Tue 31 Jan 23, 4:30pm (AEST)
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Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Altech Chemicals is to change its name to Altech Batteries Limited reflecting pivot in company’s focus
  • The company is now in discussions with EU and London-based banks and equity providers to bankroll a proposed JV with German battery expert Fraunhofer
  • Altech and Fraunhofer presented its next-generation and lithium-ion disrupting tech to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last September

Lithium-ion battery disruptor Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) flagged it is proposing to change its name to Altech Batteries Limited on Tuesday in its latest quarterly report. 

That name change reflects the company’s pivot towards battery manufacture more than the research and development of battery-compatible chemicals. 

Earlier this month, Altech flagged it is in discussions with banks across the EU to fund a JV project with German battery experts Fraunhofer IKTS called CERENERGY. 

This comes after the company presented its tech to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in September last year.

The company finished the December quarter with $6.6m in cash.

JV end goal 

The CERENERGY JV ultimately seeks to manufacture a new type of battery that could stand to challenge the dominance of lithium-ion battery assets. 

Altech envisions a Europe-based battery anode plant alongside Fraunhofer. The company has been busy conducting R&D in Germany since last year.

It minted a construction contract for a pilot plant in June 2022.

Sodium Alumina Solid State (SASS) battery packs are being designed under the CERENERGY namesake for use in grid-scale Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSies). 

The advantage of SASS tech per Fraunhofer’s patent design boils down to three key advantages over lithium-ion:

  • SASS batteries reportedly pose no combustion risk 

  • SASS batteries are climate resilient and can operate in more extreme temperatures than litihum-ion batteries, with important long-term implications for climate change

  • Battery life in a SASS build is superior compared to lithium-ion 

Changing weather highlights potential 

The SASS batteries, developed by Fraunhofer, require sodium (the same thing as table salt, though bought in significantly larger quantities), and alumina. 

For a reminder: Altech used to be mainly a high purity alumina (HPA) developer which pivoted into batteries. The company continues to progress discussions with London-based Bedford Row Capital and Perth’s Bluemount Capital to fund its HPA ambitions.

Looking back at Fraunhofer’s tech, the climate resilience element of the SASS battery assets may prove to be the most desirable to BESS system operators or purchasers weighing up the options. 

Worth recalling: Europe’s 2022 summer season was the hottest the region has ever seen in recorded history. 

The implications for SASS tech is clear: in a heating world, operational resilience in temperatures exceeding 40°C will become a desirable quality. 

A look at ATC's six month charts
A look at ATC's six month charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Altech was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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