Umicore to construct dedicated catalyst production facility for heavy duty diesel in China

Regional website Germany

Umicore announced today the construction of a production facility in China for automotive catalysts used in heavy duty diesel (HDD) vehicles. The new facility will be built close to Umicore's existing automotive catalysts plant and technology development centre in the Suzhou Industrial Park and is planned to be operational in early 2014.

The facility will produce Selective Catalytic Reduction systems (SCR) for NOx aftertreatment for the new China IV emission standards, which will come into force in July 2013. The Chinese HDD market is the largest in the world in number of vehicles, with an annual production of more than 2 million units. Umicore has secured a number of contracts for HDD engine platforms complying with the new standards and this investment will add significant capability to Umicore’s existing production of HDD catalysts in China.

Jörg von Roden, Senior Vice-President for Umicore's Asia Pacific automotive catalysts business, commented: "This investment demonstrates our commitment to further serve the growing Chinese emission control market. Combined with our recently-opened technology development centre in Suzhou, we can now offer a full range of automotive catalyst development and production services in China for both the light duty and heavy duty market."

Note to editors

Combustion engines intrinsically produce toxic emissions. National and regional authorities impose limits on these emissions in order to obtain good air quality. Car companies typically comply with these limits by installing a catalyst system in the exhaust system of the vehicle, which transforms toxic emissions into harmless ones. The vast majority of passenger cars produced today have such a catalyst system on board and this is more and more the case for heavy duty vehicles as well. The catalyst system has to reduce the NOx (nitrogen oxide) one of the targeted toxic emissions, to harmless N2 (nitrogen gas). A diesel engine operates with excess oxygen which makes NOx reduction directly in the exhaust system not possible. A dedicated catalyst is therefore needed. This can either be a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, which uses a urea additive, or a NOx storage catalyst.