Umicore inaugurates new manufacturing facility for automotive catalysts in Thailand
Today the materials technology and recycling group Umicore officially opened its new production plant for emission control catalysts in Rayong, Thailand. The plant produces automotive catalysts for gasoline and diesel light duty vehicles, serving customers in Southeast Asia.
The plant, which operates with a team of more than 40 employees, is situated in a special economic zone near Rayong, close to automotive plants in the country. It allows Umicore to meet the increasing demand for emission control catalysts in the fast growing market of Southeast Asia. Given their extensive presence in the regional market, Japanese automotive producers make up the majority of the plant’s business. These Japanese customers will be served by the Umicore Shokubai joint venture.
More than 100 attendees, including Umicore executives, employees, customers and representatives of the local authorities celebrated the official opening of the new plant. Marc Watzal, Umicore plant manager, thanked employees and officials for their support of the project: “In only one and a half years we developed this facility from bare ground. This could not have happened without the support of the authorities as well as the hard work of our highly motivated and qualified team. This investment supports our strategy to develop Umicore’s leadership in clean mobility and to serve our customers globally. We are looking forward to expanding our collaboration with them in this exciting and dynamic region.”
Umicore’s catalysts enable improvements to air quality by transforming harmful vehicle emissions through sophisticated catalytic processes. Umicore is a pioneer in automotive catalyst technology and has been producing emission control catalysts for over 40 years. Its products have prevented hundreds of million tonnes of harmful pollutants from being emitted into the air.
About the automotive market in Southeast Asia
In recent years Thailand has established itself as the hub of Southeast Asia’s automotive industry. Of the 4 million vehicles produced in the region last year, around 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 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.