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Solvay to align global soda ash business

December 25, 2012 (Belgium)

Solvay, world leader in Soda Ash, announced its decision to proceed with the optimization of its global industrial footprint. The Group’s strategic intent is to reinforce its positioning by adjusting its production capacities in line with differentiated market dynamics and cost-competitiveness considerations. This will allow Solvay to improve the profitability and the cash generation potential of its Soda Ash business.

Demand for Soda Ash in emerging markets, North America, Eastern Europe and Middle East remains satisfactory while Western and Southern Europe are confronted with challenging conditions of long-lasting poor demand and overcapacity.

“These contrasting macroeconomic patterns call for a regional adjustment. As a leading market player, we are determined to adjust our business and align our supply to the demand in the market, namely in the South of Europe and the Mediterranean area”, explains Pascal Juery, the appointed President of Solvay’s newly created Essential Chemicals Global Business Unit.

Solvay, present in North America (Green River, Wyoming) with the most competitive iron-mining industrial assets, is to expand its existing production capacity by c.12% through manufacturing excellence actions requiring a limited amount of investments. This will allow Solvay to follow the market growth in areas such as South America.

In the European market, Solvay will continue to reinforce the competitiveness of its synthetic-based Soda Ash plants by leveraging operational excellence, energy efficiency and maintenance effectiveness. The Group will put a special focus on its world-class synthetic Soda Ash production sites and the development of its leading position in Sodium Bicarbonate. Solvay’s competitive footprint in the region is ideally located to serve these markets.

More specifically in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, Solvay is to address both structural overcapacity due to reduced demand and increasing competitive pressure from the new trona-based competition in the area. Solvay is currently examining solutions to adapt its manufacturing footprint to the expected market demand and will implement an appropriate action plan by mid-2013.

Soda Ash is a white free-flowing granular product mainly used in glass, detergents and environmental applications. Solvay operates nine Soda Ash production plants in 8 countries (Bulgaria, Egypt, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United States).

SOLVAY is an international chemical Group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence.


Solvay
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