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Solvay Wraps Up Coal Phase-out at Wyoming Soda Ash Facility
Solvay Wraps Up Coal Phase-out at Wyoming Soda Ash Facility

Solvay Wraps Up Coal Phase-out at Wyoming Soda Ash Facility

  • 15-Feb-2024 2:55 PM
  • Journalist: Patricia Jose Perez

Solvay, a prominent chemical company headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, has achieved a significant milestone by completing its coal phase-out initiative at its site in Green River, Wyoming, USA.

The Green River facility specializes in the production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate derived from trona, a naturally occurring mineral. These products find widespread applications across various industries, including flat glass manufacturing for building insulation, container glass production, detergent formulation, animal feed additives, food processing, flue gas treatment, as well as the burgeoning markets for solar panels and lithium carbonate used in electric battery vehicles.

Driven by a steadfast commitment to energy transition and carbon footprint reduction, Solvay has embarked on several initiatives, including the cessation of coal usage at the Green River facility. This strategic decision to power the natural soda ash plant with natural gas not only enhances Solvay's long-term competitiveness but also underscores its dedication to sustainability.

By the year 2025, Solvay anticipates a significant reduction in overall emissions from the Green River facility, targeting a 20% decrease compared to the emissions recorded in 2021, despite a concurrent 25% increase in production levels.

In a further display of its forward-thinking approach, Solvay announced plans in November 2022 to resume construction on a capacity expansion project aimed at increasing soda ash production by 600 kt. The capacity expansion remains on schedule, with production slated to commence early next year, underscoring Solvay's commitment to meeting evolving market demands.

In addition to the coal phase-out initiative, the Green River facility is poised to implement innovative technology aimed at further reducing emissions. Notably, Solvay is pioneering the implementation of regenerative thermal oxidation to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in a trona mine, marking a significant step forward in sustainable mining practices.

Solvay's operations span across seven soda ash plants worldwide, with the coal phase-out initiative extending beyond the Green River facility. Similar transitions away from coal are underway at two of Solvay's plants in France and Germany. By the conclusion of 2024, the Rheinberg site in Germany is slated to become the world's first soda ash plant powered primarily by renewable energy sources. Furthermore, the remaining two Solvay plants utilizing coal for energy production, situated in Spain and Bulgaria, have commenced their transition process, incorporating partial utilization of biomass and gas as alternative energy sources.

 Solvay's successful completion of the coal phase-out initiative at its Green River facility underscores the company's unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Through a combination of strategic investments, innovative technologies, and proactive measures, Solvay is poised to lead the way towards a more sustainable future in the chemical industry.

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