The United States arm of soda ash producer Ciner Group will
add capacity for 4 million tonnes per year of natural soda
ash over the next five years, according to a source with
knowledge of the matter.
Ciner Group, based in Turkey, will expand production
capacity by 1 million tpy at the existing plant operated by its
subsidiary in the US, Ciner Resources, and will add a further 3
million tpy at a greenfield site.
The expansion at its plant in the state of Wyoming will take
three years to complete, while the greenfield site, which is
also intended to be in Wyoming, will take five years to come
online, according to the source.
No start date for these projects has been set.
Currently, Ciner Group has total capacity for just under 7
million tpy of soda ash across its operations. Globally, only
Belgium-based Solvay has greater total capacity, according to
At its US plant, Ciner Resources has nameplate capacity for
2.94 million tpy, according to data released by the US
Geological Survey in 2017.
But the company has not been achieving that nameplate
capacity and only recently set a production record for a single
quarter, producing 709,000 short tons at the plant in the
fourth quarter of 2018.
Parent company Ciner Group operates two plants in Turkey
with combined capacity for 4 million tpy. Should a further 4
million tpy be added to group’s capacity, this
would bring it to almost 11 million tpy, by
Ciner Group is already the largest producer of dense grade
soda ash, but Solvay also has synthetic soda ash plants, and
therefore also produces light-grade material. This makes Solvay
the largest overall producer by volume.
Total global demand is around 60 million tpy but this is
growing by 3% per year.
Before the first tonnages from Ciner Resources’
proposed expansion reach the market, the company will have
exited its partnership with the American Natural Soda Ash
Corporation (Ansac), and will subsequently perform its own
international sales and marketing functions. These are
currently done on its behalf by Ansac.
This change was announced on November 19, 2018, and will
come into effect on December 31, 2021.
"Ciner Resources’ export price will go up,
because I personally believe that Ansac is not worried about
the real value of the product," the source said.
According to Ciner Resources, the selling price for soda ash
in the US and Canada in the last three months of 2018 was $222
per ton. The international selling price, which Ansac controls,
was almost $60 per ton lower at $168 per ton.
Fastmarkets’ latest price assessment for soda
ash, natural, dense, large contracts, fob Wyoming, was $185-225
per tonne on February 28.
Workers recently had to evacuate the Wyoming mine after a gas
leak, but the source told Fastmarkets that he "believed" that
the mine was once more fully operational.