Solvay is reconfiguring its global soda ash capacity and output to adapt with changing demand levels. There are "contrasting macroeconomic patterns" that necessitate a "regional adjustment," said Pascal Juery, head of Solvay's newly formed Essential Chemicals unit. "As a leading market player, we are determined to adjust our business and align our supply to the demand in the market, namely in the South of Europe and the Mediterranean area."
Energy firms operating in California would need to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing before activities begin, should draft rules unveiled by the state's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources be approved. Drillers will also be required to conduct further well testing and monitoring before, during and after operations under the rules. Companies "will participate in the process as new regulations are formulated," said Tupper Hull, a Western States Petroleum Association spokesman.
The American Chemistry Council welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency's revisions in the Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources rule that narrowed the scope of emission sources. "While we continue to believe that it is not necessary for certain synthetic minor sources to obtain Title V [CAA] permits, given they already operate under protective state permits, we welcome EPA's clarification. ... Likewise, we are appreciative that EPA highlighted certain Title V provisions that could allow for greater operational flexibility needed for chemical manufacturing," ACC said in a statement.
The American Chemistry Council's Chemical Activity Barometer remained steady from November to December, reflecting "slightly slower activity in construction-related plastic resins, coatings and pigments," said ACC chief economist Kevin Swift. The reading held at a level of 91 for the month, following four straight months of growth. With the housing market having the biggest gains in the metric, "the longer-term trend seems to suggest that the recovery in housing will continue," Swift said.