By Dr. Cameron Chai
Orbite Aluminae has successfully concluded the pilot phase of Cap-Chat plant and has closed pilot operations for converting the plant to commercially produce high-purity alumina (HPA).
When the production at the plant commenced during 2012, the company planned to produce HPA of one tonne per day. During 2013, the production may increase for up to 5 t per day.
The company has concluded a basic engineering stage for the HPA plant, with the help of worldwide and national engineering firms. It is looking forward to commission the Cap-Chat HPA plant by the 2012 end and is focusing on a regular ramp-up of potential.
Orbite completed the Cap-Chat pilot plant on budget and on time and this plant will start the production of alumina and additional value-added oxides, by means of the proprietary methods, in order to take alumina from aluminous clays.
The company has laid off 14 employees temporarily and is maintaining 17 permanent workers on site, for completing the plant conversion and to arrange for a safe transition. It will employ workers, as the new HPA plant operations have been started.
HPA is a specialty alumina with high-quality, when compared to the metallurgical alumina, and is utilized in many industrial and modern applications. Half the quantity of the world’s yearly production of HPA is calculated to be used in the synthetic sapphire manufacturing that is utilized in fiber optics and in LED lighting for the automotive and the home industry. HPA is also employed in the manufacturing of tubes of high-pressure sodium vapour lamp, of computer and video equipment.