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Umicore to build automotive catalyst facility in Thailand

Regional website Germany

Umicore announced today the construction of a new facility in Hemaraj, Thailand, for the production of emission control catalysts for light duty vehicles. The investment will allow Umicore to meet the increasing demand for automotive catalysts in the fast growing market in South East Asia.

The investment amounts to approximately € 20 million and will initially create 60 new jobs.

Construction of the facility will begin in the new year and commissioning is expected in the second half of 2016. The plant will be situated in a special economic zone near Rayong that is close to all the major automotive plants in the country and will produce newly-awarded business. Given their extensive presence in the Thai market, Japanese automotive producers make up the majority of this new business. Umicore will serve these Japanese customers through its Umicore Shokubai joint venture with Nippon Shokubai.

In recent years Thailand has become the hub of South East Asia’s automotive industry. Of the 4 million vehicles produced in the region last year, over half were produced in Thailand. Sales of passenger cars and light duty trucks are expected to continue their strong growth and governments in the region are also working to tackle the issue of air quality, particularly in the big cities. Thailand, for example, currently imposes an automotive emission standard that is the equivalent of Euro 4.

Jörg von Roden, SVP Sales & Marketing for Umicore Automotive Catalysts and Director of Umicore Shokubai Japan, commented: “We are delighted with this investment. The new facility will further extend our ability to offer emission control solutions in the Asian markets and will complement the activities that we already have in China, Japan, South Korea and India. The investment also allows us to move further towards one of our strategic goals of expanding our offering to Japanese car producers around the world.”