2019 Annual Integrated Report

The overall raw materials expense of the Group amounted to circa €2.7 billion in 2019 (vs. €2.8 billion in 2018). The raw materials expense can be split into several categories: crude oil derivatives for 36%, minerals derivatives for 22% (e.g. glass fiber, sodium silica, calcium silicate, phosphorus, sodium hydroxide…), natural gas derivatives circa 11%, biochemicals for 10% (e.g. glycerol, guar, fatty alcohol, ethyl alcohol…) and others for 20% (composites...).

Net energy costs represented about €0.61 billion (vs. €0.65 billion 2018). Energy sources were spread over gas for 68% coke, petcoke, coal, and anthracite for 29%, electricity for 2% and steam, fuel oil, and others for 3%. More than half of the costs were incurred in Europe (52%) followed by the Americas (28%), and Asia and the rest of the world (20%).

On energy supply, Solvay has consistently implemented programs to reduce its energy consumption for many years. While Solvay has industrial activities with high energy consumption, mainly in Europe (synthetic soda ash plants, peroxides), Solvay also operate a range of industrial activities whose energy content is relatively low as a percentage of sales price, especially in the fluorinated polymers business. To reduce the Group’s energy footprint Solvay has stepped up its SOLWATT energy efficiency program, which aims to continuously optimize the industrial processes involved in its energy production and supply. Lastly, Solvay set a new greenhouse gas emissions ambition in 2020.