Photo copyright Solvay

Solvay, a Belgian manufacturer of soda ash and bicarbonate, has announced plans to build the largest sodium bicarbonate plant in Southeast Asia. The facility will be located in Thailand and will have a capacity of 100,000 tons per year.

The plant will cost Solvay about EUR20 million ($27 million) and is expected to be operational in 2015. Construction will take place at Solvay's existing site in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, in the province of Rayong. Solvay expects that the output will meet the growing demand for sodium bicarbonate in the region, mostly from the Asian food market and healthcare sector.

According to the company's announcement, the facility will manufacture a new generation of the company's BICAR product range. The technology used for the production will reduce waste and optimize energy recovery, Solvay said.

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Pascal Juery, president of Solvay Essential Chemicals, commented that the plant shows further proof of Solvay's commitment to sustainable growth in Asia. Thanks to the new facility, the company will continue to provide fast and reliable supply of its BICAR products to industries in the region, he stated.

The project is supported by Thailand's Board of Investment.

Solvay also recently invested in its sites in Dombasle in France and Torrelavega in Spain. Thanks to these upgrades, both facilities were given GMP Pharma and CEP certifications, as required by the latest changes in EU legislation.