Umicore to streamline its Cobalt and Specialty Materials activities

October 15, 2020

Umicore, a global materials technology and recycling group headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, has reported that, as part of the ongoing reassessment of its global production footprint, it plans to streamline its cobalt activities in the business unit Cobalt & Specialty Materials, with the aim of strengthening the business unit’s competitive position.

Cobalt & Specialty Materials is focussed on the refining, production and distribution of cobalt and nickel speciality chemicals for a wide-range of non-battery related applications, including Powder Metallurgy. Over the past few years, the business unit is reported to have been facing increasing competition in several of its end-markets, and more recently in its cobalt refining activities, due to the emergence of large-scale cobalt refineries.

Against this backdrop, Umicore has announced plans to consolidate part of the business unit’s core activities in Kokkola, Finland and Nashville, Tennessee, USA, in order to achieve synergies and strengthen the unit’s competitive position.

According to this plan, the cobalt refining and part of the cobalt transformation activities of the Olen plant in Belgium will be moved to the recently acquired Kokkola refinery in Finland. 

This refinery is one of the largest cobalt refineries globally, and allows the business unit to produce at larger and more competitive scale. The transfer of the activities is anticipated to be finalised by mid-2023 and will entail a reduction of 165 positions in Olen through natural attrition. 

In the US, the business unit will discontinue operations in Arab, Alabama, and consolidate activities in the plant in Nashville, Tennessee. The closing of the Arab plant will impact forty-two positions. Earlier in the year, the business unit also closed its cobalt, nickel and rhenium refining and recycling plant in Wickliffe, Ohio.

www.umicore.com

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • “Scrap is the new gold” and other hardmetal and hard materials insights from Euro PM2023 Congress, Lisbon
  • IperionX: A Powder Metallurgy route to lower-cost recycled titanium plate, billet, bar and preforms with reduced CO2 emissions
  • A review of the sintering of iron-copper-carbon alloys for structural Powder Metallurgy applications

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

 

Browse the archive

 

Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link