Vancouver Bulk Terminal
Vancouver Bulk Terminals

Washington port to add soda ash shipping facility

Oct. 18, 2023
Reconstruction of a ‘world-class’ Port of Vancouver bulk terminal expected to begin next year, boosting the export capacity of a fast-growing soda ash production region by 2026

Solvay, a global leader in the soda ash market, and Vancouver Bulk Terminal (VBT), a bulk commodity shipping and logistics expert, are collaborating to redevelop Terminal 2, Berth 7 at the Port of Vancouver in Washington state.

Reconstruction is set to begin in 2024 and expected to be completed by early 2026, the partners reported. Leaders say the facility will become a key global outlet for the export of soda ash from North America, emphasizing design, efficiency, and sustainability through their combined expertise and capabilities.

The newly designed terminal will have the capability to annually process more than 2.5 million tons of soda ash. The expanded capacity will support the previously announced expansion of Solvay’s Green River, Wyoming, soda ash operations. The terminal also will add crucial export capacity to the North American soda ash industry, which is recognized as the world’s fastest-growing soda ash producing region, Solvay said.

“We are excited to work with Vancouver Bulk Terminal and the Port of Vancouver to develop a state-of-the-art facility that will allow Solvay to serve our international customers sustainably for the foreseeable future,” Brian Kebart, president of Solvay American Soda, said in a news release.

With custom-built infrastructure, Terminal 2 will be tailored for bulk soda ash storage and handling, enhancing international trade, and implementing solutions that reduce the port’s ecological footprint. VBT’s plans include improved rail service, all new enclosed storage and conveyance, and a modern efficient ship loader design.

“After working with the port to execute a 30-year lease, we are very excited to take the next step in our plans to modernize the terminal and provide an efficient long-term gateway for Solvay to reach the global marketplace with a key component needed for numerous green economy products,” said Brian Johnson, a VBT director and chief commercial officer at Nautilus International Holding Corporation.

Furthermore, Terminal 2’s construction and ongoing operation will create jobs within the local community and encourage economic growth, the companies said.

“The Port of Vancouver USA is incredibly excited to welcome Solvay to the port and grow our role as a leading ‘green energy gateway’ on the U.S. West Coast. Not only is soda ash a critical commodity for a vibrant economy, it’s essential for manufacturing of the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs and the glass panels used in the solar industry,” said Alex Strogen, the Port of Vancouver’s chief commercial officer. “This partnership with the port, Vancouver Bulk Terminal, and Solvay equates to more jobs here locally, and more economic diversity for the port and therefore the Vancouver community in the years ahead.”

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BT staff