Solvay S.A. : Solvay to reinforce its global leadership in soda ash
Productivity actions and capacity adjustments to yield €100 mln/yr in cost
Brussels, June 6^th, 2013 --- Solvay announces today that it plans to
reinforce its position as a world leader in soda ash and improve the
activity's long-term profitability by reducing its 2012 European cost base by
€100 million per year as of 2016. Solvay will focus on a breakthrough
competitiveness improvement of its key synthetic soda ash plants in Europe,
while expanding its trona mining-based operations in North America.
As announced at the end of last year, Solvay has been working on an action
plan to address different regional market dynamics for soda ash, a white
mineral product used in applications like glass and detergents. While demand
worldwide has been growing at global GDP rates, demand in Europe has been
suffering from the economic downturn which has caused structural overcapacity.
"We are determined to strengthen our cost-leadership as the best-in-class
producer of both synthetic and natural soda ash," said Pascal Juéry, President
of Solvay Essential Chemicals. "Our ambitious three-year action plan will
enable the Group to rise up to the challenges and adapt to changes in the
competitive landscape while ensuring our profitability for the long term."
In North America, with limited investments, Solvay is gradually expanding its
production capacity by about 12%, at Green River, Wyoming, where it operates
best-in-class trona-mining industrial assets.
In Europe, Solvay will run an in-depth transformation program at its 6 main
soda ash plants*. The breakthrough improvement in the production of synthetic
soda ash will strengthen its position as the region's cost leader. The Group
will build on its unique know-how and technical capabilities to deliver
substantial savings in all fields, including raw material and energy
efficiencies and maintenance excellence of its plants, combined with an
More specifically,Solvay plans toaddress structural overcapacity in the
Mediterranean basin byclosing its soda ash unit in Povoa, Portugal, by
January 2014. Furthermore, in Rosignano, Italy, the Group will run production
capacity according to market needs on top of making significant productivity
improvements. Solvay will also use more efficiently the full potential of its
world-class synthetic plants in Torrelavega, Spain and in Devnya, Bulgaria to
enhance its competitiveness both in Europe and export markets.
These European restructuring measures will affect about 450 job positions by
2016, including Povoa. Solvay will do its utmost to alleviate the social
impact by prioritising relocations, allowed by the significant number of job
openings at its European sites.
These measures will improve Solvay's soda ash European cost base by €100
million per year as of 2016 against 2012 levels and start enhancing
profitability as of 2014. The Group will be able to better serve its local and
global clients thanks to an optimal production network in Europe.
*Bernburg and Rheinberg in Germany, Devnya in Bulgaria, Dombasle in France,
Rosignano in Italy and Torrelavega in Spain.
As an international chemical group,SOLVAYassists industries in finding and
implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. The Group is
firmly committed to sustainable development and focused on innovation and
operational excellence. Solvay serves diversified markets, generating 90% of
its turnover in activities where it is one of the top three worldwide.The
group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about29,000 people in 55
countries and generated 12.4 billioneuros in net sales in 2012. Solvay SA
SOLB.BE) is listed onNYSE Euronextin Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB
- Reuters: SOLBt.BR).
Lamia Narcisse Caroline Jacobs Maria Alcon-Hidalgo Edward Mackay
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Source: Solvay S.A. via Thomson Reuters ONE
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