MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC–(Marketwired – Sept. 17, 2015) – Orbite Technologies Inc. (TSX:ORT)(OTCQX:EORBF) (“Orbite”, or the “Company”) today provided an update on the construction of its High Purity Alumina (“HPA”) Plant located in Cap-Chat Québec.
Decomposer and Calciner
- Installation of refractory materials (bricks, mortar, and castable) in the calciner and decomposer, by RHI Canada Inc. (“RHI”), under technical oversight from Outotec, was completed on August 1.
- A four-week curing process, whereby the refractory material in both ovens was heated to 900°C, commenced the first week of August and was completed by August 30, as planned. This work was carried out by RHI/Thermetco and was followed by a one week cooling down process.
- CNC Mechanical (2002) Inc. (“CNC”) is now proceeding with the integration of the calcination system into the plant through installation of the main process piping and equipment attached to the decomposer and calciner.
- Shop prefabrication of specialty alloy piping, required for the high-temperature steam supply to the decomposer and calciner is ongoing. A slight modification to the sequence in which different plant systems are being installed (see Procurement section below) means that steam piping installation has been moved to a later position in the completion schedule. No impact is anticipated on the overall completion timeline.
- Prefabrication of lined piping (acid duty) continues, and delivery to site for installation commenced in August, as planned.
Installation of all piping, including utilities
- CNC was awarded the contract for the installation of piping. Installation, starting with piping support installation, commenced in August, as planned.
- CNC, who successfully installed the decomposer and calciner, has been on site on a continuous basis installing minor and major mechanical equipment. This segment of construction continues to proceed well, with CNC presently installing the main process piping and equipment around the decomposer and calciner (seal pots, discharge devices, flue gas piping, etc), as well as the acid recovery vessels and acid regeneration system.
Electrical and Instrumentation
- Les entreprises d’électricité JMN Inc. from Matane (Québec) continues to progress as planned. The main inlet transformer has been installed. Cable tray installation is complete on 2 of the 3 floors, and electrical wire pulling has commenced. Installation of the electrical supply system for the calcination system (32 transformers and controllers) will commence in September following completion of the new electrical transformer room.
Structural, buildings and foundations
- Les Entreprises Roy Duguay & Associés from Cap-Chat has completed all major exterior foundations (hydroxide silo, cooling tower, new building extensions, etc.) and equipment foundations inside the plant are materially complete. Only a few, very minor equipment foundations remain to be poured.
- Atelier de Soudure Gilles Roy Inc. (“ASGR”) from Amqui (Québec) completed the prefabrication of the new building extensions to house the crystallizer heat exchangers, the electrical transformer room for the calcination system, and the calciner discharge device. Onsite installation commenced in June and is proceeding as planned, with the heat exchanger building now complete and the electrical transformer room well advanced. The discharge device extension will be installed once the process piping around the calciner is finalized.
- ASGR has also completed various internal modifications to the building structure and is progressing well on completing the installation of equipment and personnel platforms.
Ventilation and Insulation
- The contract for the installation of the new ventilation system was awarded to Balvent Inc. and site work will commence in September. The Company is still negotiating the final contract for supply and installation of insulation on calcination equipment and high temperature piping and vessels.
- Commissioning and start-up procedures continue to be finalized by operations personnel for the various parts of the plant. Commissioning of certain sections commenced in Q3 as planned, notably for certain plant utilities such as the steam production system and the process waste water treatment plant. In addition, both sections have been started up and operated successfully. Commissioning of different sections of the plant will continue in September and into Q4.
- Practical operations training commenced in late June and will continue through commissioning and start-up.
- Health and Safety and Emergency Response Plans for continuous operations have been completed and continue to be implemented.
Procurement, Schedule and Budget
- Delivery dates for the majority of critical long lead items continue to be respected by suppliers. However, the supplier that went through a labor dispute (now resolved) has confirmed that it will not be able to respect its commitment of supplying a number of components in relation to the completion of the high temperature steam system for the calciner and decomposer within the initially contemplated timeframe. Consequently, Orbite has made slight modifications to the order in which the various plant systems are completed. Management anticipates no impact on the overall project schedule.
- Orbite commenced commissioning in Q3 2015, as planned, and the start of commercial production continues to be planned for Q4 2015.
- The project is tracking on budget.
“We are near to completion of our HPA plant, and have commenced commissioning as scheduled,” stated Glenn Kelly, CEO of Orbite. “With the refractory system now installed, cured and cooled, one of the more complex and sensitive parts of the construction work is behind us, and we can now focus on the relatively more straightforward elements. During commissioning, which is a stage-by-stage process, we conduct pre-startup verifications, followed by startup and operation of the various plant sections to assess their functioning, as we have already done successfully with certain utility systems. Once this phase is complete, we will commission the plant in its entirety, which means starting up the fully integrated HPA production process and fine tuning operation.”
“As things stand, we are progressing well and, as previously announced, anticipate commencement of commercial production in the fourth quarter. We are excited about the coming weeks and months, and we look forward to updating our shareholders on our progress towards becoming a commercial entity.”
Orbite Technologies Inc. is a Canadian cleantech company whose innovative and proprietary processes are expected to produce alumina and other high-value products, such as rare earth and rare metal oxides, at one of the lowest costs in the industry, and in a sustainable fashion, using feedstocks that include aluminous clay, kaolin, nepheline, bauxite, red mud, fly ash as well as serpentine residues from chrysotile processing sites. Orbite is currently in the process of finalizing its first commercial high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Québec and has completed the basic engineering for a proposed smelter-grade alumina (SGA) production plant, which would use clay mined from its Grande-Vallée deposit. The Company’s portfolio contains 15 intellectual property families, including 18 patents and 107 pending patent applications in 11 different countries and regions. The first intellectual property family is patented in Canada, USA, Australia, China, Japan and Russia. The Company also operates a state of the art technology development center in Laval, Québec, where its technologies are developed and validated.
Certain information contained in this document may include “forward-looking information”. Without limiting the foregoing, the information and any forward-looking information may include statements regarding projects, costs, objectives and future returns of the Company or hypotheses underlying these items. In this document, words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “estimate” and similar words and the negative form thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which, such future performance will be achieved. Forward-looking statements and information are based on information available at the time and/or the Company management’s good-faith beliefs with respect to future events and are subject to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. These risks uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described in the section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) entitled “Risk and Uncertainties” as filed on March 31, 2015.
The Company does not intend, nor does it undertake, any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements contained in this document to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.
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