Belgium's Solvay to optimise its global soda ash industrial network

18 December 2012 08:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SolvaySINGAPORE (ICIS)--Belgium’s Solvay said on Tuesday it has decided to proceed with the optimisation of its global industrial footprint through repositioning of its production capacities and cost-competitiveness considerations.

This will allow the company to improve profitability and the cash generation potential of its soda ash business, Solvay said in a statement.

“Demand for Soda Ash in emerging markets, North America, Eastern Europe and Middle East remains satisfactory while Western and Southern Europe are confronted with challenging conditions of long-lasting poor demand and overcapacity,” it said.

“As a leading market player, we are determined to adjust our business and align our supply to the demand in the market, namely in the South of Europe and the Mediterranean area,” said Pascal Juery, the appointed President of Solvay’s newly created Essential Chemicals Global Business Unit.

Solvay, present in North America (Green River, Wyoming) with the most competitive trona-mining industrial assets, “is to expand its existing production capacity by c.15%,” the statement said.

However, it also said: “More specifically in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, Solvay is to address both structural overcapacity due to reduced demand and increasing competitive pressure from the new trona-based competition in the area.”

“Solvay is currently examining solutions to adapt its manufacturing footprint to the expected market demand and will implement an appropriate action plan by mid-2013,” it added.

In the European market, Solvay will reinforce the competitiveness of its synthetic-based Soda Ash plants by “leveraging operational excellence, energy efficiency and maintenance effectiveness”.

“The Group will put a special focus on its world-class synthetic Soda Ash production sites and the development of its leading position in Sodium Bicarbonate,” it added.

By: Surinder Malhi
+65 6780 4327

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