07 January 2011 21:53 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US soda ash producer FMC will restart its mothballed Granger line in Wyoming by 1 July in response to stronger export demand, the company said on Friday.
FMC has 1.3m ton/year (1.2m tonne/year) of nameplate capacity at Granger. The company said it would restart Granger production at a rate of 500,000 tons/year by 1 July to satisfy current demand.
FMC would than evaluate further production increases, it said.
“We expect the global demand for US soda ash to continue to increase for the foreseeable future,” said Ed Flynn, president of FMC Wyoming.
“The solution mining technology that FMC uses at Granger will allow FMC to cost effectively increase capacity in increments to meet export demand,” he added.
FMC temporarily suspended production at the Granger facility in 2009 because of reduced export demand brought on by the global economic recession, the company said.
But since then, US export markets have recovered much faster than the nation's domestic market, FMC said.
To that end, FMC expects US trade figures to reveal record soda ash exports for 2010.
The restart of the Granger line should increase employment by about 80 people, FMC said.
FMC and General Chemical Industrial Products are the primary US soda ash suppliers.
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