$55M Facility will recover high quality fluorine via uranium de-conversion
International Isotopes (OTC:INIS), a small firm located in Idaho Falls, ID, has big plans to recover fluorine for industrial use via uranium deconversion from depleted UF6. Steve Laflin, CEO, announced this week he has chosen a site in Hobbs, NM, for a $55 million plant. It will eventually employ 150 people.
The new facility will consist of both depleted uranium de-conversion and fluorine gas extraction processes. INIS holds patents that give it exclusive rights to the Fluorine Extraction Process (FEP), which produces high value, high purity gases in conjunction with uranium de-conversion and provides a key commercial advantage to the de-conversion project.
The plant is expected to have an initial de-conversion capacity equivalent to processing approximately 575 deleted UF6 tails cylinders per year. Those cylinders are expected to come from one or more enrichment companies in the U.S. and INIS will charge for this de-conversion service. The end products of the de-conversion process will be high purity, anhydrous hydrofluoric acid (HF) and silicon tetrafluoride gas. Both of those products are in demand for a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications.
Lea County Offered Advantages
Laflin said the economic development advantages of the location outweighed other choices. He said the Lea County site, which is west of Hobbs, has good access to disposal facilities and utilities needed for the project.
Hobbs is just 25 miles north of Eunice, NM, where Louisiana Energy Services (LES) is building a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant that will spool up its first centrifuges by the end of 2009.
Laflin said his firm will submit an application for an NRC license for the New Mexico facility by November 2009. He hopes to break ground at the Hobbs site in 2011.
Technology demonstration plant in Idaho Falls
Laflin isn't standing still. He's also building a large-scale $10 million technology demonstration plant in Idaho Falls that will employ 20 people. He is plowing the current round of investment funding, some $2 million, into engineering design for both facilities.
His business plan to attract investors is to show them the technology works in Idaho Falls, and to book contracts for the New Mexico facility.
When asked if he has a contract with LES, he said, "not yet," but he added "I'm not tied to just once facility. I hope to do business with Areva's Eagle Rock uranium enrichment plant." That facility is expected to comes online in 2014.
Separately, International Isotopes reported for 2008 a 19% increase in revenue in two business segments – radiochemical sales and cobalt products.
At market close on March 27 the stock price stood at $0.29/share against a 52-week range of $0.91-$0.15. market capitalization was $81.3 million.
Prior coverage on this blog
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