February 1, 2023

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Solvay is participating in the energy transition, but the future is in America

Solvay is participating in the energy transition, but the future is in America

Belgian international Solvay will invest a total of €1 billion in Europe’s energy transition, but the real investments will take place in the US.

Why is this important?

While Europe is mass-preparing companies for a costly energy transition, America is bringing one along Climate Synthesis This is very favorable for foreign investors. It now threatens to weaken European industry.

Essence: More investments in climate neutrality are sending European companies abroad.

  • Although Solvay has several plants in Europe, it will focus on investments outside the continent in the coming years. “There’s going to be expansion in the US. The return on investment is very high,” says Philippe Gehren, CEO of the Belgian chemical company’s sodium carbonate division.
  • Europe wants to achieve climate neutrality 2050, but it comes with a lot of costs. The final invoice at Solvay is over €1 billion.
  • In America, domestic companies have recently been able to benefit from more subsidies, which has led many European companies to focus on the Far West. For Europe, that is Conflict With WHO regulations.

Future vision

Specific: Solvay’s manufacturing process needs to be revamped.

  • Although solution While they will focus on America, they are still willing to make big investments in Europe. “It’s necessary to be relevant on the world stage,” says Gehren.
  • Solvay emits millions of tons of CO2 during production Sodium carbonateThis sector accounts for only 15 percent of the revenue.
  • Coal use will be phased out from 2030 onwards. Its use is environmentally and economically unsustainable. The investment cost the company 150 million euros.
  • According to the CEO, that is not enough. “Two-thirds can be saved through new energy sources CO2 Avoid, but also part of the CO2 associated with the Solvay process. We need to find a solution to that too.”
  • For this reason, Solvay is now investing 40 million euros in a factory in Dombassele, France, where the Belgian energy company will test the new treatment process.

We ask: The US is even more so when it comes to sodium carbonate.

  • The US state of Wyoming has become the mecca of the soda ash industry in recent years. This is due to a soil rich in raw materials.
  • Solvay already uses it. About 150 workers there mine ore up to 500 meters underground.
  • According to Kehren, production is very cheap and economical. “It uses less energy and we run on gas because of the lower cost. You can do that In Europe Don’t introduce now.
  • “Apparently everything is happening in America right now. The country already produces twice what it consumes,” argues the CEO.

(ddw)

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