A 3D layout of the proposed Alpha HPA high purity alumina refinery planned for Gladstone.
A 3D layout of the proposed Alpha HPA high purity alumina refinery planned for Gladstone.

New high purity alumina plant to be one of world’s largest

UPDATE: Gladstone is one step closer to being the home of one of the world's largest high purity alumina refineries after the $300 million plant received Queensland Government planning approval.

On Thursday at the 9.2 hectare site in Yarwun, 10km out of Gladstone, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher announced Alpha HPA had received the approval from the coordinator general.

"What this will mean for the Gladstone region is 300 construction jobs when it starts and 120 full time employees in the operational phase," Mr Butcher said.

Alpha HPA chief operations officer Rob Williamson and member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at the site of a planned high purity alumina refinery on February 11, 2021.
Alpha HPA chief operations officer Rob Williamson and member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at the site of a planned high purity alumina refinery on February 11, 2021.

The new refinery would be the third of its kind in Gladstone however unlike Rio Tinto Yarwun and Queensland Alumina Limited, the Alpha HPA plant would be produce 99.99 per cent pure alumina in an Australian first for the company.

"This is some of the finest alumina you will see in the world," Mr Butcher said.

"This is probably going to be one of the biggest refineries of its type in the world when its finished."

The highly refined product is sought after for a number of eco-friendly products including LED lighting and lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars and even in Apple watches.

 

A high purity alumina ingot which will be produced at the site.
A high purity alumina ingot which will be produced at the site.

"What we should see on the back of it is manufacturing companies want to come to Gladstone and utilise this product to make products here in Queensland," Mr Butcher said.

Alpha HPA chief operations officer Rob Williamson said the refinery would produce 10,000 tonnes of product per year in the form of high purity alumina powder, pellets and precursor products which would go into high tech industries.

 

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Chief operations manager Rob Williamson at the site for Alpha HPA in Yarwun.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Chief operations manager Rob Williamson at the site for Alpha HPA in Yarwun.

He said Alpha HPA's pre-existing relationship with Orica influenced the decision to set up in Gladstone.

"The relationship with have with Orica is very important to us," Mr Williamson said.

"They supply refinery agents to us we as part of our process generate bi-products that go back to them.

"So there's very good synergy in relation to Orica and that's why we chose this site."

He said there was massive growth projected for the product's industry into the future.

"The current market for our HPAs is around about 45,000 tonnes a year globally," he said.

"We anticipate that to go up to 120,000 tonnes in the next three years."

The company now has to receive environmental approvals and lock in financing.

If all goes ahead it is anticipated construction will begin as early as this year with production expected to start in 2023.

 

A 3D layout of the proposed Alpha HPA high purity alumina refinery planned for Gladstone.
A 3D layout of the proposed Alpha HPA high purity alumina refinery planned for Gladstone.

INITIAL: A $300 high purity alumina plant planned for Gladstone is one step closer to fruition after gaining Queensland Government planning approval.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Queensland's Coordinator-General had approved an application allowing the high purity alumina plant to be built in the Gladstone State Development Area.

"This is a great coup for Gladstone, that will see 120 jobs created locally," Mr Miles said.

"A material change of use application has been granted allowing advanced manufacturer Alpha HPA to build its plant within the Gladstone SDA.

"This means Gladstone is now one step closer to becoming the home of an exciting new industry, with the production and export of high purity alumina used around the world in new-economy manufacturing.

"The high purity alumina will provide the raw materials used by low-carbon growth industries including LED lighting and lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles."

"This is part of Queensland's economic recovery, encouraging investment in manufacturing that creates jobs for Queenslanders."

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