Umicore to Expand Smelter

Company looks to boost capacity by 40 percent at its Hoboken, Belgium, plant.

October 28, 2013

The precious metals and electronics recycling firm Umicore, based in Brussels, has announced plans to invest 100 million euros (US$138 million) to expand its precious metals smelting operation at its smelter facility in Hoboken, Belgium. The expansion project, expected to take two years, will include a number of technical improvements, including programs developed at Umicore’s pilot facility. 

When complete, the expansion will enable Umicore Precious Metals to handle a wide range of metals. The initial focus of the expansion will be on residue streams from the nonferrous metals industry. The company opened the Hoboken facility in September 2011.

Based on technical and market studies and subject to final board approval, the preferred option is to pursue an expansion of the Hoboken facility that targets a treatment capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year—an increase of roughly 40 percent. Umicore is presently working with authorities to obtain the necessary permits for the project.

In related news, Umicore reported stable revenue for the quarter. The revenue growth in catalysis, energy materials and performance materials was offset by lower revenue in recycling as a result of lower metals prices, the company says.
A video of Umicore opening the Hoboken facility is available here.