Şişecam and Ciner Group, Turkish-origin global companies, will co-invest $4 billion in the U.S. soda ash industry. With the planned investment, Şişecam will become one of the world’s largest soda ash producers, say officials.
The companies, who became development JV partners in the natural soda ash project based in the U.S. two years ago, are expanding the scope of their cooperation and changing the structure of their partnership.
Pacific Natural Soda Ash Development Project
Şişecam and Ciner Group have been development JV partners in the Pacific natural soda ash development project since 2019. As part of the new investment plan, Şişecam will become a 60 percent shareholder by acquiring an additional share in the Pacific Project. In addition, Şişecam will also purchase a 60 percent share in the Atlantic Project and Ciner Resources, the existing natural soda ash production facility of Ciner Group in Wyoming.
New Development Project
Ciner Resources Wyoming Plant, built in 1962, has been in production ever since with current production capacity of around 2.75 million tons per year. The Pacific and Atlantic development projects, with a targeted combined production capacity of about 5.5 million tons per year, is expected to start production during 2025 and is planned to gradually reach full capacity by 2027.
Prof. Ahmet Kırman, chairman of Şişecam, says that the investment is one of the largest investments made abroad from Turkey. “With these investments, Şişecam's controlled soda ash production capacity will exceed [11 million tons], comparing to the existing capacity of [2.75 million tons] today. The plan also includes the establishment of the largest soda ash production facility globally in a single location.”
A strong demand increase is expected in the global soda ash industry, in the coming years. The market is expected to reach 66 million tons globally by the end of 2021. When compared to synthetic soda ash production, producing natural soda ash provides a decrease of approximately 50 percent both in carbon intensity and water consumption. “This ecologically friendly natural soda ash production is perfectly aligned with Şişecam’s long term sustainability-oriented perspective” Prof. Kırman says.
Şişecam is also the world’s eighth largest soda producer as well as the global leader in chromium compounds.