Alpha HPA on track to advance synthetic sapphire manufacturing in Australia

Image credit: Alpha HPA

Alpha HPA Limited announced significant progress in the development of its Alpha Sapphire project, aimed at manufacturing and commercialising synthetic sapphire growth technology in Australia.

The ASX-listed company reported the completion of support infrastructure and utilities for the first two synthetic sapphire growth units, known as Phase A, at its HPA facility in Gladstone, QLD.

Furthermore, the arrival of synthetic sapphire framing and furnace bodies on-site signifies a crucial step towards commissioning, with installation currently underway.

In a noteworthy development, Ebner-Fametec, the technology partner, has confirmed exceptional purity levels exceeding 99.999% (5N) in the most recent batch of crystal growth, as assessed by GDMS analysis.

This outcome, coupled with the sapphire crystal’s favourable colour and minimal imperfections, underscores the project’s potential for success.

Alpha has already initiated the supply of follow-on feedstock to Ebner-Fametec for multiple sapphire boule growth, further propelling the project forward.

Alpha’s Managing Director Rimas Kairaitis expressed satisfaction with the advancement of the Alpha Sapphire business, highlighting the journey towards producing the first synthetic sapphire in Australia as a significant milestone in establishing sovereign, high-value downstream sapphire capacity for supplying critical high-technology markets.

He stressed, “We are focussed on capturing this unique opportunity with funding in place to scale rapidly into sapphire growth to meet the expected demand from the adoption mini-LED and micro-LED displays and the ability to supply sapphire sourced from a secure jurisdiction, grown with renewable power and fed with our own low-carbon HPA feedstock.”

Looking ahead, Alpha has identified several potential properties for the expansion of the Alpha Sapphire project, including Phase B and Phase C, encompassing 48 and 50 additional sapphire units, respectively.

The company is actively engaging with power distribution networks to ensure sufficient power connectivity for both phases, with formal inquiries underway.

Concurrently, discussions with renewable energy providers in Queensland are progressing to align with the company’s commitment to sustainable operations.

Alpha HPA said the engineering team is diligently advancing site layouts in tandem with site selection, ensuring seamless integration and operational efficiency.

This includes planning for feed preparations, sapphire growing processes, and sapphire boule mapping and processing within the facility.