Belgium's Umicore to raise cathode output on EV demand
London, 9 February (Argus) — Belgian metals producer Umicore is to expand its cathode manufacturing capacity to meet projected demand from the electric vehicle (EV) sector.
The company plans to increase cathode materials output at its plant in Jiangmen in Guangdong province, China, with a new facility on a nearby greenfield site. Initial production of cathode materials from the new site is expected to begin in the second half of 2019.
Umicore is also planning to build a new production facility in Europe, with the exact location of the site yet to be decided. Production at this location is expected to begin in 2020.
Once the plants are in operation, Umicore's total cathode output will be a minimum of 175,000 t/yr .
Umicore's Jiangmen facility in December began production of nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cathode materials for use in lithium-ion batteries. And the company plans to increase production at its Cheonan site in South Korea.
Umicore has increased its focus on clean mobility in recent months. In October, the company sold its indium tin oxide (ITO) sputtering facility in Qingyuan, Guangdong province and shuttered its ITO plant in Rhode Island, US. And in December, Umicore acquired US-based Materia's catalyst business.