3 March 2020

Fire Incident in Hoboken

Yesterday evening, 2 March, around 18:30 CET there was a fire in the lead refinery at Umicore’s plant in Hoboken, Belgium. The fire brigade of Antwerp extinguished the fire and nobody was hurt.

The lead refinery was shut down for maintenance when the fire broke out. A thorough investigation to identify the cause of the fire is being initiated.  

As a precautionary measure, local residents were asked to close their windows and doors in case of smoke nuisance. Emission measurements are currently being carried out at Umicore's fixed measurement points and via mobile measurement teams.

While it is too soon to assess the scale of the damage to the impacted installation, the rest of the Hoboken plant remains in operation. Umicore expects therefore that the incident will not impact the throughput of precious metals and that it will be able to fulfil all its contractual commitments.

Marc Grynberg, CEO Umicore: “We regret this new incident and understand that this creates uncertainty for our neighbours in Hoboken. We will do everything we can to minimize the impact on the local residents and the environment. Safe operations remain our top priority and we will take all necessary steps to prevent such incidents in the future.”