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Solvay and ENOWA plan to build first carbon-neutral soda ash plant in NEOM before 2030

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This partnership paves the way for a new global benchmark, championing competitiveness, circularity and carbon neutrality.


Solvay is partnering with ENOWA, NEOM’s energy and water company, to establish the world’s first carbon-neutral soda ash production facility in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. Pending the results of an in-depth feasibility study and customary regulatory approvals, Solvay and ENOWA plan to begin operation of the groundbreaking plant by 2030. 

The state-of-the-art facility is poised to emerge as an industry-leading model for soda ash production on a global scale. It will serve as a vital component in ENOWA's Water Sustainability Strategy and reflects NEOM's commitment to developing a zero-liquid discharge water management system.

Strategically located off of the Red Sea coast to support access to markets across the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, the renewable-powered plant will convert seawater brine into soda ash and integrate the e.Solvay process for sustainable and carbon-neutral soda ash production. The partners aim to start 500,000 tons soda ash nameplate capacity by 2030 which would gradually increase up to 1.5 million tons by 2035, with the potential addition of sodium bicarbonate production.

Earlier this year, the e.Solvay pilot production process began operations in Europe. Designed to evaluate the viability of a more sustainable and competitive soda ash production technology, the pilot has yielded positive results, showcasing potential for low emissions, reduced resource and energy consumption, and complete removal of limestone residues. The next two-year pilot phase will set the stage for industrial-scale production to begin in the latter half of the decade, aligning with the NEOM implementation timeline.

“NEOM is a fantastic opportunity for Solvay to participate in building this land of the future. The soda ash plant at NEOM will be the first of its kind, as it adopts the new e.Solvay process to attain carbon neutrality," said Philippe Kehren, Solvay CEO. “This new plant will reinforce Solvay’s global leadership position, ensuring a sustainable supply of carbon-neutral soda ash to our valued customers. This endeavor aligns seamlessly with our sustainability ambitions and complements our unique network of industrial assets worldwide.”

Gavin van Tonder, Managing Director of Water, ENOWA added, "With this partnership, NEOM is poised to become a global blueprint for sustainable development through its investment in responsible waterresource management. Our vision encompasses more than just creating a thriving economic region; it is about building a model that empowers communities to coexist sustainably with the environment. We are thrilled to be working with partners who share the same ambition."

NEOM is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia being developed from the ground up. A complex engineering endeavor, NEOM will operate on 100% renewable energy and is redesigning urban development to offer a sustainable solution to population growth and rapid urbanization. The region will protect 95% of its land and sea area within a nature reserve, with the remaining being made up of cognitive cities, a next-gen port, tourist destinations, and research centers, among other assets.
ENOWA is using circular design and investing in groundbreaking technologies to realize NEOM’s vision for a new future.

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This press release may contain forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements describe expectations, plans, strategies, goals, future events or intentions. The achievement of forward-looking statements contained in this press release is subject to risks and uncertainties relating to a number of factors, including general economic factors, interest rate and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, changing market conditions, product competition, the nature of product development, impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, products withdrawals, regulatory approval processes, all-in scenario of R&I projects and other unusual items. Consequently, actual results or future events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should our assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those anticipated. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Solvay, a pioneering chemical company with a legacy rooted in founder Ernest Solvay's pivotal innovations in the soda ash process, is dedicated to delivering essential solutions globally through its workforce of over 9,000 employees. Since 1863, Solvay harnesses the power of chemistry to create innovative, sustainable solutions that answer the world’s most essential needs such as purifying the air we breathe and the water we drink, preserving our food supplies, protecting our health and well-being, creating eco-friendly clothing, making the tires of our cars more sustainable and cleaning and protecting our homes. As a world-leading company with €5.6 billion in net sales in 2022 and listings on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB), its unwavering commitment drives the transition to a carbon-neutral future by 2050, underscoring its dedication to sustainability and a fair and just transition. For more information about Solvay, please visit or follow Solvay on Linkedin. 

NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a new future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this new future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation. NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate, and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity.

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ENOWA is a world-class Energy, Water company founded in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. ENOWA produces and delivers clean and sustainable resources for industrial and commercial applications using a customer-centric smart and connected system designed to be circular and takes advantage of NEOM's optimal solar and wind energy profile. ENOWA benefits from NEOM's greenfield site, which has no legacy infrastructure, to advance energy, water, and hydrogen innovation. ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally. Through its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, ENOWA seeks to become a global reference for industry leaders and setting a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems around the world. For more information, please visit or follow ENOWA on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube

The e.Solvay process is Solvay’s technological breakthrough to produce a more sustainable and competitive soda ash, by leveraging electrochemistry. Solvay has invested 40M€ over the last 30 years to develop this new technology which has been patented since 2014. Pilot operations began in April and are expected to run for two years before production can be ramped up to an industrial scale.