Solvay to Revive US Soda Ash Upgrade Project

16.11.2022 - Solvay said it plans to resume construction on its 600,000 t/y soda ash capacity expansion at its Green River, Wyoming, US plant, with production now expected to start at the end of 2024. The project was put on hold in September 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic

Flanking the investment in soda ash, the Belgian chemical group said it will deploy a new “breakthrough technology” at the site to reduce emissions from its trona mining operations. This is expected to reduce the site’s greenhouse gas emission by 20%.

The $200 million total investment in the two projects follows Solvay’s acquisition of full ownership of the business from ACG for $120 million in May this year.

The Green River facility produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from trona, a naturally occurring mineral. The output will supply markets such as flat glass for building insulation, container glass and detergents, as well as for fast-growing applications such as solar panels and the lithium carbonate needed for electric vehicles.

Solvay said the upgrade of environmental technology is consistent with its commitment to reinforce its leadership position as a long-term, sustainable global supplier. CEO Ilham Kadri said the Brussels-based group is investing to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the US site, even though CO2 emissions “currently have no cost, contrary to Europe.”

Kadri added that said the innovation will make Solvay the first company to implement regenerative thermal oxidation technology to abate emissions in a trona mine.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist