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World soda ash conference

TCE attends World Soda Ash conference

TCE recently attended the annual IHS Markit World Soda Ash Conference (WSAC) 2019, held in the beautiful city of Cannes.

A popular feature on the annual soda ash sector calendar WSAC presents major suppliers and end-users of soda ash to come together to review and debate topical industry issues. WSAC also enables delegates to enjoy exciting global industry networking opportunities. Tata Chemicals Europe was represented by Sales & Marketing Director, Angus Vause, and the 2019 Tata Chemicals delegation also included attendees from the Group’s businesses in North America, Europe, India and Singapore.

This year’s event attracted more than 300 delegates and ensured that attendees were kept informed of the latest soda ash sector business updates, deep analysis, thought leadership and industry insight. A soda ash workshop got the proceedings underway, followed by a packed and thought-provoking conference itinerary over the next two days.

New opportunities and challenges for the soda ash sector in our age of sustainability provided a key focus and speakers examined how today’s industry is being influenced by a range of diverse environmental factors, including:

• An environmentally-driven move from plastics to container glass
• Increased demand for lithium carbonate – a development driven by the growth of electric vehicles
• Greater use of flat glass in solar panels and for double/glazing applications for energy conservation.
• Greater demand for sodium bicarbonate for use in flue gas desulfurization

The event examined new dynamics in Chinese and Malaysian markets, the drive towards lower carbon dioxide emissions and the likely impact on the sector of a sharp increase in the cost of carbon emissions. It also considered the implications of IMO 2020. Due to some of these trends, soda ash growth has exceeded GDP growth and the challenges of meeting demand in view of limited new capacity additions was also considered. In the light of these shifting dynamics, WSAC examined how the soda ash market balance could evolve and looked at issues such as supply security and new opportunities for the sector.

Commenting on the 2019 event, Angus Vause said:

”WSAC 2019 provided a very valuable forum to examine the various opportunities and challenges affecting the sector in today’s marketplace. I greatly enjoyed meeting up with many customers, both old and new, and exploring how we can continue to support each other in delivering mutual growth and prosperity.”

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