21 January 2009 23:49 [Source: ICIS news]
The company said it expects the exit process to finish on 31 December 2010. Solvay, a subsidiary of Brussels-based Solvay Chemical, was one of the four founding members of ANSAC in 1983.
Cameron Berry, business director of soda ash at Solvay, said the company had a good relationship with ANSAC but thought striking out on its own made better business sense.
“It’s something we’ve been contemplating for a while. From an operations, logistics and commerical prespective, Solvay has the ability to serve most of the major markets in the world without ANSAC,” he said.
With a production capacity of 2.8m tonnes/year at its Green River plant in Wyoming, Solvay is the second largest US soda ash manufacturer.
ANSAC representatives were unavailable for comment. ANSAC markets 100% of US soda ash exports.
The consortium, which also markets US soda ash for major suppliers FMC, General Chemical and OCI Chemical, recently left the South Africa market and paid a fine of rand (R) 9.7m ($941,000, €734,000) after the country’s competition commission deemed it in violation of its Competition Act.
That judgment played no part in Solvay's decision, Berry said.
($1 = €0.78)
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