Solvay bought an 80 per cent stake in the company for £E760m ($140m). Under the contract, the company is not allowed to export ASCC’s output unless local demand is met first.

The Belgian chemicals and pharmaceuticals firm will expand the company’s plant, which currently produces 130,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of soda ash.

Savoy will initially invest £E480m to increase production capacity to 200,000 t/y. This will be followed by a second expansion to 500,000 t/y.

Soda ash is used in the glass manufacturing process.