TECHNOLOGY company Coretrack is preparing for the first production of proppants some time in the second quarter of this year.

The company is developing a fly-ash based proppant for use in hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells, starting construction of a pilot plant in the Brisbane suburb of Clontarf in December.

The pilot plant is designed to validate the scale-ability of the Coretrack proppant product as a cost effective and superior alternative to bauxite and clay based proppants, typically used in fracking operations.

Coretrack executive director Siegfried Konig said that, if successful, the plant would also provide confirmation of the project’s low manufacturing cost base.

“This will be a key advantage for the Company over traditional clay-bauxite proppant producers as we seek to commercialise the product in the massive global fracking and proppant market,” he said.

The plant is now mostly built, with the arrival on site of all Coretrack’s long lead-time equipment items plus critical technical componentry, such as granulation equipment and sophisticated burners. Installation is currently ongoing.

The Company’s technical team arrived onsite in January 2015, and is overseeing construction, and on completion will assume responsibility for the operations and management of the plant.

The plant uses technology developed by Queensland proppant development company Ecopropp, which Coretrack acquired in May 2014 – with the deal finalised in March.

Coretrack issued 295 million new shares, valued at 1.1 cents each, to Ecopropp vendors in order to acquire the group.

The deal, valued at $3.2 million, sees Ecopropp shareholders acquire 28.92 per cent of the company’s total issued capital – though no one shareholder becomes a significant shareholder following the deal.