History of Umicore Specialty Materials Brugge
USMB as name and company has been erected at the end of 2007. Before this date, the company was known worldwide as Corn. Van Loocke NV (CVL) and was founded in the beginning of the 20th century by Corneille Van Loocke in the south-east of Bruges on an industrial estate.
The original core business was the storing and the distribution of liquid petroleum products, from pitch to light gasoline (business disposed of in 1991). CVL also owned a production unit for glycerine soaps (discontinued in 1977) as well as a blending unit for manufacturing poultry nutrition based on cod liver oil (ended in 1955).
After the Second World War, a son of the founder took over the wood preservatives business of UCB (Ancona), which was based on Cu and Zn Naphthenate. A new production site was built in 1955 and the production of a range of metal soaps started. (VALIREX)
A joint venture with Cray Valley in 1967 left CVL with a new production site and formulations for Alkyd resins. (VALIRES)
In 1974 CVL started the distillation and the distribution of NAPHTHENIC ACIDS.
In 1985 the company relocated to a dedicated heavy industrial estate situated in the north of Bruges where USMB continues to produce till today. In april 1990, 99% of the share-capital was sold to the UK chemical group Blagden PLC.
New offices and laboratories were built in 1991. An additional reactor was installed in 1993 for the production of modified Alkyd binders for the paint and varnish industry. (VALITHANE, VALITHIX, TOLL MANUFACTURING).
In order to distill crude Naphthenic acids, a new distillation column was installed in 1996.
In 1999 a successful management buy-out was achieved with financial partners Sofinim and VIV.
In 2000 an extra 2 hectares industrial ground was acquired, expanding the total surface up to 5 hectares.
In 2002 a new production unit was set to work, doubling the capacity up to 23.000 tons (depending on the product mix). A new production unit for cobalt resinate was completed end 2005 (capacity 2000 tons).
On November 1st 2007, the shares of the company were sold to the Umicore group and the name changed to “Umicore Specialty Materials Brugge NV”, or better known as USMB. Belonging to the Umicore Cobalt and Specialty materials Business Unit puts USMB in an advantageous position when it comes to cobalt containing metal soaps.
Umicore invests in the future and devotes itself to create more economical production processes, implement new technologies, expand existing production capacity and develop and manufacture new products.