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Umicore N.V.
Umicore Logo.png
Partner Information
Based Flag of Belgium.png Brussels, Belgium
Founder 1989
Announced 18 February 2019[1]
Broke
Role Battery Recycling Supplier
Official Website Umicore

Umicore N.V., stylised as umicore, is a Belgian based multinational materials technology company, specialising in refining and recycling precious metals.[2] Founded in 1989 after the merger of four mining and smelting industries, Umicore is one of Belgium's most important business and a founding member of the BEL20 stock market index.[2]

Umicore first became involved in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during the 2018/19 season, signing a multi-year partnership deal with Formula E Holdings to recycle the batteries used in 2014/15 and 2015/16.[1]

Background

Umicore's origin is found in the era of colonialism, with the Union Minière du Haut Katanga (UMHK) a principle factor.[2] The company, originally incorporated in 1906, was founded to exploit natural resources in the Congo Free State (later the Belgian Congo), and came to hold a near-global monopoly on uranium.[2] By 1967 UMHK held more than half the revenue produced by the Congo, resulting in then President Mobutu Sese Seko to nationalise the firm.[2]

Fallout and Reform

The seizure of over $800 million worth of assets left UMHK on the verge of bankruptcy, although the group managed to survive following a transfer of ownership.[2] The group subsequently found itself under the control of the Société Générale de Belgique, which placed the firm in their mining and metal refining investments.[2] UMHK was renamed as Union Minière, and duly began to grow to one of the largest firms in the SGB with interests in various refining sectors.[2]

Union Minière's success led the SGB to merge the group with three other business, forming Acec-Union Minière in 1989.[2] Streamlining through the 1990s saw the group ultimately renamed as Umicore in 2001, with a switch away from mining to clean technologies coming in the early 2000s.[2] Umicore subsequently became The Global 100's "Most Sustainable Company in the World" in 2013, with interests in recycling, emission control catalysts and renewable energy.[2]

Formula E History

Umicore were one of a number of companies to be consulted by various entrants in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship about the use of batteries, and duly partnered with Mahindra Racing during the 2017/18 season.[3] The Belgian firm would subsequently be contacted by FE's overseers Formula E Holdings about recycling the first generation of batteries at the end of the same campaign, with the new Spark SRT05e using a new battery pack developed by McLaren Applied Technologies.[4] Umicore subsequently signed a deal with FEH midway through the 2018/19 season, becoming the series' 'official battery recycling supplier' on a multi-year contract.[1]

Products

Umicore serve as the series' 'official battery recycling supplier', and hence provide no official products to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

References

Videos and Images:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 'Formula E teams up with Umicore to start battery recycling programme', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 18/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/umicore-battery-programe, (Accessed 18/02/2019)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 'History', umicore.com, (Umicore N.V., 2019), https://www.umicore.com/en/about/history/#background, (Accessed 18/02/2019)
  3. 'Umicore and Voxdale are proud to announce a partnership with Mahindra Racing in the Formula E Championship', umicore.com, (Umicore N.V., 09/11/2017), https://www.umicore.com/en/media/press/20171109mahindraumicorevoxdaleen, (Accessed 18/02/2019)
  4. 'FIA puts Formula E battery and chassis supply out to tender', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/03/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/fia-puts-formula-e-battery-and-chassis-supply-out-to-tender.aspx, (Accessed 31/01/2018)
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