Sector News

Solvay completes coal phase-out at Wyoming soda ash plant

February 17, 2024
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

Brussels, Belgium-headquartered chemical company Solvay has completed the coal phase-out initiative at its US site in Green River, Wyoming.

The Green River facility produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from trona, a naturally occurring mineral. According to Solvay, these products are used in numerous applications including flat glass for building insulation, container glass, detergents, animal feed, food and flue gas treatment, as well as markets for solar panels and lithium carbonate for electric battery vehicles.

“Solvay is determined to undertake its energy transition and reduce its carbon footprint through a number of initiatives, including coal phase-out. From today, we will no longer use coal at Green River. The decision to power this strategic, natural soda ash facility with natural gas enhances Solvay’s long-term competitiveness and sustainability,” said Solvay CEO Philippe Kehren.

By 2025, Solvay expects overall emissions from Green River to have decreased by 20% compared to 2021, despite a 25% increase in production.

Following acquisition of the plant’s full ownership, Solvay announced plans in November 2022 to resume the construction of a 600 kt soda ash capacity expansion.

“The capacity expansion remains on track, with production set to begin early next year,” said Kehren. “On top of the coal phase-out, Green River will soon deploy innovative technology to further reduce its emissions. Solvay is the first company to implement regenerative thermal oxidation to abate greenhouse gas emissions in a trona mine.”

Solvay operates seven soda ash plants worldwide. Beyond Green River, coal is being phased out at two of the company’s plants in France and Germany. By the end of 2024, the Rheinberg, Germany site will become the first soda ash plant in the world to be powered primarily with renewable energy. The last two Solvay plants using coal for energy production, located in Spain and Bulgaria, have also begun their transition with partial introduction of biomass and gas, Solvay said.

Source: chemanager-online.com

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