Solvay announced last year that it would be expanding its Green River, Wyo., soda ash operations. The Port of Vancouver terminal will export this soda ash around the globe. The new facility could process more than 2.5 million tons of soda ash each year, according to the statement.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of natural soda ash, according to an April report from Market.Us. North America represented 40 percent of global soda ash revenue in 2022.
“The increasing production of synthetic soda ash and increasing automotive industries are driving the growth of the market in the North America region,” read the report.
China and India are the largest consumers of soda ash worldwide, according to the report. China is already a top trading partner for the port.
Soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate, is used in powdered detergents and soaps, glass manufacturing and rechargeable batteries, among other things.
In Wednesday’s announcement, Vancouver Bulk Terminal Director Brian Johnson pointed to soda ash being a “key component needed for numerous green products.”
Alex Strogen, chief commercial officer at the Port of Vancouver, said the partnership with Solvay would grow the port’s “role as a leading ‘green energy gateway’ on the U.S. West Coast.” The port is well known for importing wind turbines, as well as electric Subaru Solterras.
“This partnership with the port, Vancouver Bulk Terminal and Solvay equates to more jobs here locally, and more economic diversity for the port and therefore the Vancouver community in the years ahead,” Strogen said.
Job projections are still forthcoming, according to the port. The project is expected to generate construction jobs and permanent International Longshore and Warehouse Union labor once soda ash begins to be exported.