Soda ash producer Solvay will increase its soda ash production capacity by 600 kilotonnes at its trona-based Green River site in Wyoming, USA.

It said the capacity expansion will meet long-term global demand growth in various applications.

Solvay will also expand its sodium bicarbonate capacity by 200 kilotonnes in its Devnya plant in Bulgaria, to address global demand growth for flue gas treatments which improve air quality.

The combined investments total €185 million, spread over the next three years.

Christophe Clemente, President of Solvay’s Global Business Unit Soda Ash & Derivatives, said. “The Green River capacity increase reinforces our position as a long-term, sustainable supplier for our customers.

"Our plant is among the best-inclass competitive soda ash assets in the world and is ideally positioned to address global market demand.”

Global soda ash demand is forecast to grow by 10 million tonnes, excluding China, between 2018 and 2030 – with 4 million tonnes between now and 2023.

Demand is driven by export markets such as South East Asia, Brazil, the Middle East and Africa for the manufacturing of flat and container glass, and Latin America for the extraction of lithium.

Solvay’s Green River facility produces soda ash from trona, a naturally occurring mineral.

The 600 kilotonnes investment will leverage on the existing infrastructure and is spread over the next three years, with production starting to ramp up by the end of 2021.

Solvay’s sodium bicarbonate capacity expansion by 200 kilotonnes in Devnya, Bulgaria is part of the existing 75/25 joint operation with Sisecam. The new production line is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.