Solvay and Veolia are launching the construction of an industrial energy transition project, “Dombasle Énergie”, which aims to replace coal with refuse-derived fuel (RDF) for the production of clean and competitive energy for the historical Dombasle-sur-Meurthe plant. The project will ensure the plant’s competitiveness and reduce CO2 emissions by 50%.
The project consists of replacing three coal-fired boilers with a boiler room equipped with two furnaces running on RDF, produced from waste that cannot be recycled, allowing to halve the carbon footprint of the industrial activity and stop importing 200,000 tons of coal annually. The Dombasle-sur-Meurthe site will have a cogeneration unit that uses 350,000 ton of RDF per year, supplied by Veolia as of 2024.
The new facility, to be built by Solvay and operated by Veolia, will have a capacity of 181 megawatts (MW) thermal power and 17.5 MW electrical power, which will be reused for the industrial process.
A first in France, Dombasle Énergie will create a circular economy virtuous loop and in particular:
- Cut the site’s environmental footprint (reduction of current CO2 emissions by approximately 50% or 240,000 tonnes of CO2 per year);
- Stop the use of fossil fuels by replacing coal imported from abroad with RDF produced in France, primarily from the Grand Est region and neighboring regions;
- Create a new outlet for waste that was initially non-recyclable and which will be transformed into green energy;
- Reduce water usage by 7%.
“A pioneer of industrial ecology, Veolia is once again positioning itself as a major partner for the industry players to help them achieve their carbon emission reduction targets“, said Antoine Frérot, chairman and CEO of Veolia. “We are glad to take part in this project with a partner like Solvay and contribute to the decarbonisation of industry as part of the ecological transformation approach.”
Ilham Kadri, CEO of the Solvay group added “We are delighted to partner with Veolia on this project which will enable us to move away from coal in our second soda ash plant, after Rheinberg in Germany“.
A view from above of the Solvay plant in Dombal-sur-Mert
This conversion of the plant offers a real advantage in the context of volatile fossil fuel prices and the taxes imposed by European regulations on the use of coal. This gain in competitiveness allows the site to be sustained and the employment pool to be preserved with 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. The project has benefited from the support of the Grand Est region and ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management).
About the Solvay’s Dombasle soda ash site
Founded in 1873 in Lorraine, the Dombasle plant is one of the Group’s oldest soda ash makers. It produces more than 500 kt/year of sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, mainly for its local customers. With a total of 3,200 employees, the Dombasle site and 10 other sites make Solvay one of the world leaders in the production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. Intended for the glass, detergent and chemical industries, but also for the health, agri-food, animal feed and flue gas purification markets, its products and solutions are served in more than 120 countries.
Solvay is a company with more than 23,000 employees in 64 countries. Solvay Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, in particular through its Solvay One Planet plan, which is based on three pillars: climate protection, resource preservation and the promotion of better quality of life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to the creation of safer, cleaner and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, aircraft, cars, batteries, smart devices, medical applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay achieved net turnover of 9 billion euros in 2020.
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 220,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2021, the Veolia group provided 79 million inhabitants with drinking water and 61 million with sanitation, produced nearly 48 million megawatt hours and recovered 48 million tons of waste.
In Bulgaria Veolia is represented with three companies – Sofiyska Voda AD, Veolia Energy Varna and Veolia Solutions Bulgaria.