Our permanently clueless poster is asking why go with HPA first...
1- Because the Project Economics are a no-brainer (payback less than 6 months)
2- Lower capex
3- Allowing to 100% fine tune and optimize SGA (already derisked with Pilot Plant) while having an important source of revenues, with substantial growth - 2nd plant in 2014.
Certainly not because HPA is easier than SGA. But since Orbite had extremely positive results from their Pilot Plant, we can easily understand their decision. If you can make high-purity, you can certainly make lower purity/smelter grade. Volume is a matter of duplicating the number of lines (in continuous mode in this case, like for paper mills); similar to what is done in aluminum smelter plant - in terms of duplication.
Layout of an aluminium smelter
An aluminium smelter consists of a large number of pots, steel containers lined with carbon, in which the electrolysis takes place; smelting is run as a batch process, with the aluminium metal deposited at the bottom of the pots and periodically siphoned off. Power must be constantly available, since the pots have to be repaired at significant cost if the liquid metal solidifies.
The anodes are made of carbon, generally derived from Anthracite and pitch.
A typical smelter contains anywhere from 300 to 720 pots, each of which produces about a ton of aluminium a day, though the largest proposed smelters are up to five times that capacity.
jorg, sometimes it is better to utilize some common sense thinking and connect the dots instead of sticking solely to information available on google and corporate press releases.
If I were AMMG, I would try to maintain a rather low profile and limit my disclosures to what's required by law.
They know anyway: Nobody will appreciate them until they deliver.
The point I want to make is, that Orbite and AMMG are obviously going HPA first. What's the reason for that? Why did AMMG drop SGA? Why did Orbite postpone it? For the same reason the Russian postponed it for decades?