Umicore signs renewable electricity PPAs with ENGIE and Storm to power two of its largest sites worldwide

Umicore has signed four long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with ENGIE and Storm to source renewable electricity from offshore and onshore wind turbines for its sites in Belgium. These combined with earlier signed PPAs, mean that the vast majority of the electricity demand from Umicore’s Belgian sites will be covered by renewable electricity, contributing to the Group’s net-zero greenhouse gas objective by 2035.

The PPAs will serve Umicore’s site in Hoboken, one of the world’s largest precious metals recycling facilities, and Olen, housing various production activities and the Group’s Research & Development center. Umicore also has a production site in Bruges and its corporate headquarters are based in Brussels.

The three long-term PPAs of up to 25 years with Storm will start in 2024 and 2025 and represent an average annual production of around 60 GWh. Details include the following: 

  • Under a 25-year agreement, Storm will build and operate a wind turbine on Umicore’s site in Olen, Antwerp province. The estimated production of the wind turbine is nearly 16 GWh per year, covering about 25% of Umicore’s current electricity consumption in Olen. The PPA will start when the wind turbine is fully operational, which is expected by mid-2024.
  • Under a 20-year agreement Umicore will purchase all of Storm’s wind farm production in Wachtebeke, East Flanders province. Storm is repowering the wind farm by replacing the two current wind turbines with two larger, more powerful wind turbines that are expected to produce an average of 30 GWh per year. The PPA will start when the wind turbines are fully operational, which is expected at the start of 2024.
  • Under a 20-year agreement, Umicore will purchase all of Storm’s wind turbine production in Geraardsbergen, East Flanders province, which is expected to average 13 GWh per year. The PPA will run from January 1st, 2025 until December 31st, 2044.

“We are glad to supply Umicore with significant amounts of wind power in the coming decades,” said Jan Caerts, the managing director of Storm. “Next to being low carbon, onshore wind power is one of the cheapest power sources available today. It is therefore vital for both the decarbonisation and the long-term competitiveness of Belgium’s energy-intensive industries.”

The five-year offshore PPA with ENGIE relates to the offshore wind farm C-Power in the North Sea’s Thornton bank near the Belgian coast. It will take effect in 2024 and represents around 50 GWh per year for all of Umicore’s sites in Belgium. The PPA complements an earlier long-term offshore agreement both companies signed for Belgium last year.

“By 2030, we aim to help all our customers worldwide avoid 45 million tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly. Green PPAs with large industrial actors deliver an important contribution towards this goal, and demonstrate our ability to accompany them on their own path to net-zero carbon. We are particularly proud that, after having already provided Umicore with onsite renewable energy and other green PPAs, ENGIE continues to support its historical customer in reaching carbon neutrality in Belgium,” said Thierry Saegeman, Country Manager of ENGIE in Belgium.

In its Let’s go for Zero ESG ambition, Umicore aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 for its scope 1 emissions resulting from its on-site operations and for its scope 2 emissions, which relate to energy purchases.