Solvay and Veolia launch energy transition project "Dombasle Énergie"

The creation of an RDF cogeneration unit will drastically reduce CO2 emissions from Solvay's Dombasle soda ash site


Paris, February 16, 2022 - 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. The project will require an investment of €225 million and is scheduled to come on stream in 2024.

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.” 

"Our sustainable development roadmap, Solvay One Planet, aims in particular at carbon neutrality by 2050. To actively contribute to the emergence of a low-carbon society, we need to transform our plants to put in place sustainable and competitive alternative energies. This requires finding partnerships between private and public actors," says Ilham Kadri, CEO of the Solvay group. "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".

"Veolia's objective is to develop a real industrial sector of  the energy recovery of non-recyclable waste materials. Transformed into solid recovered fuels, this waste makes it possible to produce energy and heat to replace fossil resources. Dombasle Énergie aims to replace coal with RDF to supply the Solvay plant with clean energy in a circular economy and industrial decarbonization approach." explained Anne Le Guennec, general manager - recycling and waste valorization, Veolia France.

“This major project secures the future of our historic site and confirms Solvay's determination to transform the European soda ash industry, to make it more sustainable and competitive, and better serve our customers in the long term,” stressed Philippe Kehren, president of Solvay Soda Ash & Derivatives. “It is driven by the same momentum as the green energy transition project developed at our Rheinberg, Germany site."  


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.

This project has benefited from the support of the Grand Est region and ADEME.

Heat production plant for city heating networks
Aerial view of Solvay’s plant in Dombasle-sur-Meurthe


About Solvay 
Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 23,000 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The 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 today ranks among the world's top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and achieved net turnover of 9 billion euros in 2020. Solvay is listed on the Euronext Brussels and Paris stock markets (SOLB). To find out more, visit the website 

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.

About Veolia
The Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and deploys 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 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater services, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated turnover of 26.010 billion euros in 2020. 



Contacts Veolia Group

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Laurent Obadia - Evgeniya Mazalova
Emilie Dupas
Tel.+ 33 1 85 57 86 25/ 33 33
[email protected]

Contacts Solvay Group

Solvay’s media relations
Brian Carroll
+32 471 70 54 72
Peter Boelaert
+32 479 309 159
[email protected]

Analysts and investors relations
Ronald Wasylec - Ariane de Lamaze
Tel. + 33 1 8557 8476 / 8480
[email protected]

Analysts and investors relations
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