Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium.
In 2015, it realized 12.4 billion € in revenues, 2.336 billion € of REBITDA, 43% of its sales in emerging high-growth countries, 90% of its sales in markets where it is ranked among the top three manufacturers. With 145 sites, Solvay employs 30,900 people in 53 countries.
Founded in 1863 by Ernest Solvay and his brother Alfred Solvay to produce sodium carbonate by the solvay process, the company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Before World War I, Solvay was the largest multination company in the world. It was formerly also active in pharmaceuticals, but agreed to sell that entire division to Abbott Labs for €4.5 billion in September 2009, a deal completed in February 2010.
In April 2011, the firm agreed to the €3.4 billion acquisition of French-based chemicals company Rhodia and achieved in September 2011.
Since January 2012, the new Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext in Paris and joined the CAC 40 index in September 2012 to replace PSA Peugeot Citroën. Solvay is historically listed on the NYSE Euronext in Brussels and part of BEL20 index.
Following its integration with Rhodia, the Committee of Executive Members at Solvay reorganised its various business units into five segments - Consumer Chemicals, Advanced Materials, Performance Chemicals, Functional Polymers and Corporate & Business Services, effective from 2013. The primary purposes of these changes were to take the Group closer to its customers, be more agile and be better placed to seize opportunities and realize its growth ambitions.
The company is a supporter of the Solvay Conferences that were started by Ernest Solvay in 1911.
On December 3, 2015, Solvay launched a share issue sent to existing shareholders, completing funding for the $5.5 billion purchase of Cytec Industries Inc.
The company's head office is located in Brussels, Belgium.
Solvay's United States subsidiary, Solvay America, Inc., is based in Houston, Texas.
Solvay is a main partner of Solar Impulse and has contributed important R&D resources to their solar powered airplane project. That aircraft conducted its first test flight on 3 December 2009, and has achieved several important milestones since then, including successful solar-powered flights from Switzerland to Spain and Morocco in 2012.
Currently, Solar Impulse II is attempting a round the world trip.
Fuel cell technology
SolviCore, a joint venture by Umicore and Solvay in the field of fuel cells is already pre-marketing membrane-electrode assemblies for different types of fuel cells for portable or mobile use.
New generation lithium batteries for hybrid vehicles components make use of Solvay fluorinated polymers. Compared to conventional vehicles the hybrids reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.
Novosol: sodium bicarbonate-based process for treating and recovering mineral residues contaminated with heavy metals.
Renewable feedstockCentre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France
University of Bordeaux, France
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, France
École normale supérieure de Lyon, France
Lille University of Science and Technology, France
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China
Fudan University, Shanghai, China
University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil
Development and industrialization of proprietary Epicerol process for manufacturing epichlorhydrin from natural glycerin.