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Umicore to invest €500M in 150,000 tpa recycling plant

The battery material producer Umicore will invest €500M in a greenfield recycling plant with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes of infeed material in Europe. The plant which will be commissioned in 2026, will be based on Umicore's combined smelting and hydrometallurgical technology enabling recovery of Ni, Co, Mn and Li.

The investment by Umicore is one of the core committment in the company's newly outlined strategy in which investments of as much as €5 billion between 2022 – 2026 will be made both in recycling and battery material production. As part of the strategy Umicore is also trying to strengthen its position in North America and will evaluate establishment of battery recycling as well.

Umicore has so far not announced the location of the plant. The company today operates a 7,000 tonnes per year pilot plant in Hoboken, Belgium. Important agreements include recycling engagements for Audi and the new battery startup ACC for which it will both recycle battery production scrap and supply battery materials.

A plant with a 150,000 tonnes capacity will be the largest recycling plant in Europe with Northvolt expected to scale incrementally. This means a significant recycling capacity in Europe at this point in time will be operated by producers of precursors and cathode materials with Northvolt, BASF, Ecopro/GEM and potentially Redwood Materials having invested in capacity in Europe while POSCO and CNGR could be additional players, alternatively shipping material for processing in Asia.

For Umicore's presentation about the investment, click here.

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