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Umicore to build large-scale fuel-cell catalyst plant in China

Umicore will build a large-scale fuel-cell catalyst plant in Changshu in China to capture the fast emerging growth in fuel-cell technology. The plant will enable the accelerated transformation to hydrogen-based clean mobility, serving demand through to 2030.

The greenfield facility is planned and prepared to be carbon-neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing Scope 3 emissions in the value chain.

Located in the northwest of Shanghai, the facility is expected to become operational by the end of 2024 and will be scalable to align with customer growth. It will reinforce Umicore’s leading technology and market position in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell catalysts and complement Umicore’s current production and R&D facilities in Germany and in Korea.

Over the past 30 years, we’ve successfully grown to become a market leader in fuel cell catalyst technology. With this new large-scale plant in China, we will be ready to cater for growing demand from our customers, in a market expected to expand 12-fold towards 2030 and accelerate beyond.

—Bart Sap, Executive Vice President of Umicore’s Business Group Catalysis

Umicore, as part of its circular business model, also recycles fuel-cell catalysts to re-use their metals such as platinum, for fresh fuel cell catalyst production, reducing their Scope 3 CO2 footprint. Fuel cell catalysts will be mainly used for long-haul, heavy-duty vehicles and to a smaller extent in mid- to light-duty vehicles.

Umicore currently offers a range of fuel cell catalysts under the Elyst brand, using platinum, platinum/cobalt alloys or iridium oxide on carbon black or oxidic supports.


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