4 million in loans from Ottawa
“We appreciate the government’s confidence and financial commitment,” he added.
“By supporting the HPA plant’s startup, the government is acknowledging the key role businesses play in stimulating economic growth and job creation,” Lebel said from Orbite’s technology development centre in Laval.
The HPA plant is due to start up in 2015, Kelly said. It will have initial capacity of three tonnes daily. The high value material is intended for the pharmaceutical industry and other specialized users.
Orbite has been developing its patented environmentally neutral alumina process for several years. The technology has been validated at the Laval centre.
It also has developed a lower grade smelter grade alumina (SGA) aimed at the primary aluminum industry, but this will come later. Alumina is the intermediate material (derived from bauxite) to make aluminum metal widely used in aircraft, building products, autos and household products.
Orbite claims its smelter grade alumina can compete with the bauxite based alumina now being imported from Australia and other countries. It creates toxic “red mud” during the refining process.
Orbite will become Canada’s only producer of alumina, based on processing clays from the Gr tiffany and co tiffany and co ong>ande Valle mine near Murdochville and other materials.
Orbite said it will take another year of detailed design, engineering and testing to get the HPA plant into production in 2015. It expects to provide more cost and scheduling details later in 2014 and is wei tiffany and co ghing a boost in capacity to 5 tonnes dai tiffany and co ly.
Last June, Orbite said it had signed a key “offtake” pact with global mining and metals giant Glencore Xstrata, under which it will buy the smelter grade alumina to be produced later this decade.