Umicore says it will build a production facility in China for automotive catalysts used in heavy duty diesel (HDD) vehicles.

The new site is close to Umicore's existing automotive catalysts plant and technology development centre in the Suzhou Industrial Park and is planned to be operational in early 2014.

It will produce Selective Catalytic Reduction systems (SCR) for Nox after-treatment for the new China IV emission standards, which will come into force in July, 2013.

The Chinese HDD market is the largest in the world in number of vehicles, with annual production of more than 2m units

"This investment demonstrates our commitment to further serve the growing Chinese emission control market," said Umicore Asia Pacific automotive catalysts business senior vice president, Jörg von Roden.

"Combined with our recently-opened technology development centre in Suzhou, we can now offer a full range of automotive catalyst development and production services in China for both the light duty and heavy duty market."