Two soda ash producers have announced capacity expansions in
the two days running up to the market’s annual
event - the World Soda Ash conference - which will add 1.35
million tonnes per year of combined production to the global
The announcements came in the days before soda ash
market participants gathered in Cannes, France, for the annual
WSAC event over September 24-26, when the industry gauges
sentiment before contract negotiations begin in the following
French-headquartered chemicals conglomerate Solvay
said on September 24 that it will add 600,000 tpy of soda ash
capacity at its Green River facility in Wyoming, United
This announcement came the day before its Wyoming
neighbor, Genesis Alkali, said it will add 750,000 tpy of
capacity to its Granger plant.
Construction of the Granger expansion will begin
in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to a company
statement, with production expected to be available for sale in
the second quarter of 2022.
During construction, the site will continue to
produce at present rates, the company said without including
details on current output. The US expansion for Solvay will
start ramping up by the end of 2021.
This is the third expansion in US capacity this
year. Turkish-owned Ciner Resources will add 4 million tpy of
capacity at its operations also situated in Green River,
Wyoming, Fastmarkets reported in April.
Market participants have largely shrugged off the
news of additional supply, saying the volumes are not enough to
cover expected demand. The market requires 1.2 million tpy of
additional production to cover growth, whereas neither Solvay
nor Genesis’ expansions will reach the market for
Two sources added that while the market is
currently balanced, the fact that there is no new capacity due
in the market over the next 12-24 months should support tighter
Fastmarkets assessed the price of soda ash,
natural, dense, large contracts, fob Wyoming at $185-225 per
tonne on August 29, a level it has held since February.
Solvay said in April it will gain 500,000 tpy of
soda ash production by 2021 via debottlenecking of existing
processes across several sites.