2016 key figures
World number one producer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate
Net sales: €1,561 million
2016 underlying results (audited figures)
- synthetic and natural soda ash: glass (flat and container), detergence, chemicals
- sodium bicarbonate: flue gas cleaning, food, animal feed and healthcare
- trona: flue gas cleaning and animal feed
An expansion supported by demographic growth
The production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, Solvay’s historical activity, has grown continuously worldwide for 150 years, directly linked to population growth and increased purchasing power. Soda ash is used mainly by the glass and detergent industries. Sodium bicarbonate serves primarily the food and feed markets and the health sector, and is also used to neutralize acid flue gases. For example, the SolVair Solutions® range helps manufacturers control their own air emissions.
In 2013, GBU Soda Ash & Derivatives announced the construction of the largest sodium bicarbonate production plant in Southeast Asia. Based in Thailand, by 2015 it will be producing over 100,000 tons of bicarbonate a year for Asia’s rapidly growing food and health markets. Meanwhile, the GBU has launched an operational excellence and manufacturing capacity optimization program to increase, by 2015, its competitiveness in North America and Europe. In particular the GBU has opted to expand its natural soda ash business at Green River (Wyoming), United States.