8 July 2019

Update on the fire incident in Hoboken

On Wednesday morning, 3 July 2019, a peripheral installation of the smelter at Umicore’s recycling plant in Hoboken, Belgium, caught fire. The fire was extinguished that same morning and nobody was hurt.

The fire was caused by an electrical malfunction of the motor powering the conveyor belt which feeds the smelter. The belt and its casing have been destroyed and need to be replaced. The smelter furnace and the other critical production installations on the site are fully intact.

The environmental impact of the fire was negligible, as no raw materials were lost in the fire and no metals were emitted. 

The smelter will remain shut down until the conveyor installation has been repaired. It is expected that these repairs, involving both electrical and mechanical work, will take approximately four weeks and that the smelter will resume normal operations at the beginning of August. Meanwhile, the rest of the plant will continue operations and process intermediates. Deliveries to customers will proceed as planned. It is estimated that the financial impact of the fire incident on Umicore’s 2019 REBIT will be slightly below € 10 million, including both the volume impact caused by the shutdown and the repair costs which fall below the insurance deductible level.  


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