Solvay ups soda ash production

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Solvay

Solvay today announced plans to increase production of ultra-pure
soda ash at it Dombasle, France, site to meet the growing demand in
the pharmaceutical industry.

Solvay produces the pharmaceutical grade soda ash at the facility in France and Rheinberg, Germany, with this latest increase bringing capacity at Dombasle to 5kt a year all produced in line with good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines.

Ultra-pure soda ash is used as an excipient in medicinal products such as effervescent tablets, and also has applications in the formulation of food and chemical specialities.

Solvay is the leading worldwide supplier of soda ash, with industrial and commercial presence in Europe, the US, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

"The market has experienced solid growth as the general trend for pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs producers is to integrate more and more sophisticated ingredients," a spokesperson for Solvay told

"In a number of countries, the use of the ultra-pure IPH grade for soda ash for certain preparations is imposed by law."

The expansion at the plant, which will result in a "significantly increased" capacity for the specialty product, is due to be complete during the third quarter 2007.

The company was unable to disclose financial details of the investment at the site, or how significant ultra-pure soda ash for the company in terms of revenue.

Products manufactured at the Dombasle site aside from soda ash include sodium bicarbonate - including pharmaceutical grades and sodium bicarbonate for use in environmental technologies.

The company produces both light soda ash and dense soda ash, which serve different purposes according to their granular properties.

Solvay light soda ash is a white free-flowing product with very fine granules, well suited for use in detergent and chemical applications.

Dense soda ash, in contrast, has been developed to meet the requirements of glass makers with the granular properties allowing it to be dust free and reduce the risk of segregation.

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