Umicore inaugurated today its new production facility for fuel cell catalysts in SongDo Incheon City (Seoul area), Korea, close to Umicore’s technology development center for catalysts. The facility will support the growth of Hyundai Motors Group as well as other automotive customers.
It is expected to ramp up production in 2020 and allows for further expansion beyond 2020. With this production expansion in Korea and the existing production capacity in Hanau, Germany, Umicore is well placed to serve the growing demand for fuel cell catalysts from its automotive customers globally.
The fuel cell catalysts market is gaining momentum, supported by a combination of intensifying clean mobility legislation and growing global awareness of the challenges of climate change. Fuel cells are an environmentally friendly alternative to combustion engines in drivetrain applications. They combine the environmental advantages of electric vehicles and the driving range and refueling time of today’s internal combustion engines.
Umicore has a competitive product portfolio with a strong R&D pipeline and has entered into close collaboration agreements with Hyundai Motors Group and other leading car OEMs for existing car platforms as well as future development programs.
Marc Grynberg, CEO, commented: “I am very proud to open this new facility which illustrates Umicore’s commitment and ability to support the transition to cleaner mobility. I am convinced that fuel cells will grow in importance in the drive train mix for both passenger cars and heavy-duty applications. Our offering of innovative solutions for all future drivetrain technologies, combined with our unique ability to close the materials loop will be key ingredients for success.”
About Umicore’s fuel cell activities
As a leading supplier of automotive and homogeneous chemical catalysts, Umicore has developed fuel cell catalysts for a broad range of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies since the end of 1980’s. Its experience in those areas has led to the development of superior fuel cell catalysts. Its catalysts are designed for superior performance and durability requirements in fuel cell vehicles, in PEM Electrolysis and other fuel cell based applications.
About fuel cell drivetrains
The application of platinum as a catalyst for generating electric power through conversion of hydrogen with oxygen is more than 100 years old. In the move to cleaner mobility, the application has gained importance as fuel cell drivetrains combine the environmental advantages of battery drivetrains with the driving range and refueling time of internal combustion engines.
These advantages make the fuel-cell powered automotive attractive in long-distance or energy-demanding haulage applications, in particular for trucks, but it is no substitute for batteries. As a complementary technology, fuel cells are clearly part of the engine mix, providing one of the various technologies required to move towards clean and sustainable mobility.