BRUSSELS: Belgian chemicals and plastics group Solvay said on Tuesday it was reorganising its soda ash production, with an increase in US output to take into account of market growth in Latin America and capacity cuts in southern Europe.
Solvay said demand for soda ash in emerging markets, North America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East was satisfactory, but was challenging in western and southern Europe due to long-lasting poor demand and overcapacity.
“These contrasting macroeconomic patterns call for a regional adjustment,” the company said in a statement.
Solvay said it would increase output at its plant in Green River, Wyoming, by about 12 per cent with only limited investment to allow it to keep up with demand growth in Latin America.
In Europe, it would seek to increase the competitiveness of all its plants. In southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, it said it would reduce output and would implement a plan by mid-2013.
This was due to lower demand and increasing competition from mining-based production in Turkey.
Solvay is the world leader in the production of soda ash, a chemical feedstock with a variety of uses, including glass manufacturing and as a water softener.