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Cheonan, South Korea - Umicore today announced a further investment in its production capabilities for rechargeable battery materials. The investment in its operations in Cheonan, South Korea, will increase its capacities and capabilities for the production of cathode[1] materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

These investments will further enhance Umicore's ability to meet the surging demand for nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) type cathode materials. Customer demand for these materials is growing fast due to their use in hybrid and electric vehicles. The new production capability will also support the production of newly-developed third generation Cellcore® lithium cobaltite (LCO). This new family of materials offers the highest energy density in a Li-ion battery and is particularly suited to the demands of high-end consumer electronics like smart phones and tablets. The investment will add a further 25% to the existing production capacity at the Cheonan plant and is expected to start up in the first half of 2013.

Commenting on the investments during Umicore's Capital Markets event in Korea, Umicore CEO Marc Grynberg said: "This investment comes on top of our recently completed expansions in Korea, Japan and China and is a sign of our commitment to meet the tremendous growth in demand, particularly for materials used in batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. Our combination of intellectual property, application know-how and ability to scale up production is a unique and powerful offering for our customers in the rechargeable battery industry."

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