100 JOBS: Gladstone chosen as site for $200m plant
GLADSTONE has been chosen as the location for a new $200 million alumina plant, HPA First Project, expected to create around 100 jobs for the region.
Today minister for state development Cameron Dick will announce that the city had been competing with potential sites in New South Wales and Western Australia.
The company, New South Wales-based Alpha HPA, focuses on the advanced manufacturing of high purity alumina that is in demand for use in markets such as electric cars.
Alpha HPA managing director Rimas Kairaitis said it was an exciting time as the company progresses from a pilot plant to a large-scale advanced manufacturing business.
Since March 2019 the ASX-listed company has tested the refining technology in a pre-feasibility study and at a pilot plant program at a Brisbane lab.
"The Gladstone site enables us to be within two kilometres of Orica, who we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with to be our supplier of key process reagents and the offtake of the by-product for the project, creating a circular economy process," Mr Kairaitis said.
"We believe there is building global demand for our high purity alumina, with circa 70 lithium ion battery mega-factories under construction across four continents to meet the electric vehicle demand."
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the existing facilities and workforce in the city ultimately won it the bid.
"Our extensive infrastructure, industrial processing facilities and skilled workforce led Alpha HPA to select a 9.2 hectare site in the Gladstone State Development Area which is owned by the State Government," he said.
"With the Port of Gladstone nearby and export-ready, and the proposed site located close to likely suppliers whose by-product will be used to extract the high purity alumina, it's the ideal location."
Alpha HPA confirmed the signing of the 20-year term MOU in an ASX announcement yesterday.
It will now negotiate final purchase terms for the 24-acre land parcel with the Queensland Government.
Once operational, the plant would produce about 10,000 tonnes per annum of high purity alumina.
Mr Dick described the announcement as a "great opportunity for Gladstone".