The first production plant to manufacture cathode active materials for the European automotive market will be build in Nysa, Poland, close to existing and expanding battery plants. The plant will build upon proprietary production technologies targeting most likely NMC precursors. The first phase of this investment is due to start deliveries at the beginning of 2021.
Umicore stated today, that the plant will deploy energy with a low carbon footprint. Such statement is at surprise because Poland is known as the country with the worst energy mix, dependent to 90% on climate damaging coal.
But the proximity of Nysa to Umicore's European customers is important. The plant will be constructed in two phases.
Umicore has also decided to build a new Process Competence Center at its existing site in Olen, Belgium, where it operates one of its largest R&D centers. This is from my point of view an indication, that their cathode material production processes needs to be improved. I speculate, that they need to improve the process towards more environment saving aspects. I heard, that Umicore is faced with massive problems with the authorities in China because of water pollution.