Change won't impact Solvay plant
March 10, 2021
A move to carve out Solvay’s soda ash and derivatives business won’t impact employees or customers a spokesperson for the company said.
Following the release of Solvay’s 2020 financial results, the company announced it would be spinning off its soda ash business into a separate legal entity.
“The change of legal structure of Solvay’s Soda Ash and Derivatives business unit has no impact on our customers, employees or operations,” Brian Carroll, head of external communications for Solvay told the Star.
However, according to an article in Chemical and Engineering News, Solvay may be aiming to sell the business in the future. The article cites a research note authored by Rob Hales, of the investment firm Morningstar, which states that soda ash is “no longer a sacred cow” for the company and believes the business doesn’t fit with Solvay’s focus on specialty materials.
The soda ash business was what started Solvay in 1863. Two brothers, Ernest and Alfred Solvay founded the company after Ernest invented an ammonia soda production process, which is commonly referred to as the Solvay process.
This process uses a salt brine and limestone to produce soda ash.
The company operates six soda ash plants in Europe based on the Solvay process, as well as the Solvay trona mine and soda ash plant west of Green River.