MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec 15, 2015) - Orbite Technologies Inc. (ORT.TO)(EORBF) ("Orbite" or the "Company") announced today that a dispute, now resolved, with one of its contractors will push the end of construction of its HPA production facility and start of commercial production into Q1 2016.
An Orbite contractor, in breach of the contract between the parties, withheld from release to Orbite certain parts and equipment in its possession, which are critical to the completion of the calcination system assembly. However, a settlement has now been reached; the equipment was released on December 14th and has arrived in Cap-Chat.
In spite of this, construction in Cap-Chat progressed well, albeit the installation of certain systems and piping is possible only subsequent to installation of the released equipment. Following the dispute settlement, it was determined that working through the Québec end-of-year construction holiday (December 18th - January 3rd) would not result in commercial production prior to year-end. Furthermore, the construction industry overtime costs associated with working through this period are such that this was deemed a non-beneficial use of funds. Orbite personnel will however continue with commissioning activities, and notably will be proceeding with the cold start-up testing of the calciner and related acid capture system during this period.
"Although the delay is disappointing both for shareholders and the Company itself, the fact remains that construction is near complete, system commissioning is progressing well, and we are confident of a successful plant start-up in Q1," stated Glenn Kelly, CEO of Orbite. "We look forward to entering the commercial phase of our development and will report on progress early in the New Year."
Even while the dispute was ongoing, the Company was able to meet a number of planned construction milestones and continued with the commissioning of individual systems.
Decomposer and Calciner, and other Major Mechanical
- Mécanique CNC (2002) Inc. ("CNC") has completed the installation of all major mechanical equipment and vessels related to the feedstock system, digestion system, crystallization system, acid recovery system and acid regeneration system.
- CNC has completed the installation of the main process piping and equipment attached to the decomposer and calciner, except for the withheld equipment, but including seal pots, discharge devices, HPA cooler, and flue gas piping.
- High temperature steam piping installation is materially complete, except for the portions related to the withheld equipment.
Electrical and Instrumentation
- Electrical and instrumentation wire pulling is complete. All connections in the main electrical control room are complete. The communication system for all motors and the fibre optics cabling for all instrumentation are in place. All communications-instrumentation cabinets are installed and tested.
- Installation of specialized power cables to the calciner and decomposer will be completed after installation of the withheld equipment.
Structural, buildings and foundations
- Materially complete.
Ventilation and Insulation
- Ventilation system installation is materially complete. Insulation work will be completed subsequent to the installation of withheld equipment.
- Commissioning of the following sections was completed successfully:
- Hydroxide feedstock system; first hydroxide feedstock to be delivered this week.
- Air system to calcination.
- Steam system to calcination.
New pictures of the activities at the Cap-Chat facility will be made available on the Orbite website shortly.
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 22 patents and 102 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 on SEDAR.
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.