Antwerp wears itself out to get Umicore factory on Opel site
The Antwerp harbour with CEO Jacques Vandermeiren and the city government with mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) don’t conceal that they will wear themselves out to get Umicore to build its new battery material giga-factory on the former Opel site. But Umicore CEO Marc Grynberg won’t show his cards yet.
Belgian battery material and recycling specialist Umicore already has the world’s biggest recycling factory for electronics in Hoboken, near Antwerp. Last week it announced that it will invest 660 million euro extra in the production of battery materials in China and in a new factory in Europe.
Skilled labour and competitive costs
Marc Grynberg says “selection procedure for the new European location is going on. Decisions will be made this year. That’s all I can say now.” Grynberg wants “the country we’ll invest in to have sufficient skilled labour, labour costs and energy costs to be competitive and energy supply has to be good”.
Both the harbour CEO and the mayor think the former Opel site near the harbour docks, closed down since December 2010, would be a perfect location. “We are aiming on investments in the circular economy in which waste is to be recycled and on industry with lots of added value”, Vandermeiren says.