Altech Chemicals has commenced soil survey drilling at the site of its proposed high purity alumina (HPA) plant in the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex, Johor, Malaysia. The work is being co-ordinated by the Singapore office of M+W Group, Altech’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

Site topography, soil stability and soil analysis are required to finalise the HPA plant civil design and engineering. M+W is co-ordinating the drilling, soil studies, civil design and engineering work. The work will include a full analysis of the site’s soil profile and a determination of the piling and civil requirements.

Altech has appointed Malaysian permitting consultants WKL & Associates to prepare the required development order and construction permit applications. WKL will also assist the company with applications for the supply of utilities such as electricity, natural gas and water. Altech has also started arranging supply contracts for key HPA plant consumables such as hydrochloric acid and lime.

Earlier this month the company announced the opening of the office of its wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary, Altech Chemicals Sdn Bhd. The office is about 300 metres from the proposed HPA plant site at Tanjung Langsat and will service personnel from Altech and M+W during the construction phase of the project.

Altech managing director Iggy Tan said, “It is rewarding to be able to announce the commencement of preliminary work at the Tanjung Langsat HPA site and the appointment of Altech’s first Malaysian employee, a site based project co-ordinator. These events signify the beginning of Altech’s presence on the ground in Malaysia.”

HPA is the critical ingredient required for the production of artificial sapphire, which is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant artificial sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smart phone components. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of artificial sapphire.

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