Solvay will build a soda ash shipping facility in the United States with Vancouver Bulk Terminal in a strategic partnership.

Solvay and Vancouver Bulk Terminal (VBT), a bulk commodity shipping and logistics expert, will collaborate on the redevelopment of Terminal 2, Berth 7 at the Port of Vancouver USA, in Washington state.

Reconstruction is set to begin in 2024 and expected to be completed by early 2026.

The facility aims to become a key global outlet for the export of soda ash from North America emphasising design, efficiency, and sustainability through the combined expertise and capabilities of VBT, the Port of Vancouver USA, and Solvay.

The newly designed terminal will have the capability to annually process more than 2.5 million tons of soda ash.

The expanded capacity will support the previously announced expansion of Solvay's Green River, Wyoming soda ash operations.

The terminal will also add crucial export capacity to the North American soda ash industry.

Brian Kebart, President of Solvay American Soda, said: "We are excited to work with Vancouver Bulk Terminal and the Port of Vancouver to develop a state-of-the-art facility that will allow Solvay to serve our international customers sustainably for the foreseeable future.”

With custom-built infrastructure, Terminal 2 is tailored for bulk soda ash storage and handling, enhancing international trade and implementing solutions to reduce the port’s ecological footprint.

VBT’s plans include improved rail service, all new enclosed storage and conveyance, and a modern efficient ship loader design.

Furthermore, Terminal 2’s construction and ongoing operation will create jobs within the local community and encourage economic growth.

Solvay also plans to reduce the production capacity of its Torrelavega, Spain plant by 300 kilotons to 600 kilotons of soda ash per year, effective January 2024.

The site will focus primarily on serving the needs of regional soda ash and premium grade sodium bicarbonate customers.

The export customers it currently supplies will be served through Solvay’s ongoing expansion in Green River, WY, USA, thereby leveraging this competitive asset.

The Torrelavega site will also continue to focus on its energy transition plan to provide its local customers with a reduced environmental footprint and competitive sodium carbonate and bicarbonate products.