Steam & electricity production from a boiler station powered by Solid Recovered Fuels

The Dombasle Energie project, resulting from the partnership between Solvay and Véolia, aims to design, to build, finance and operate a boiler plant using Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF) to produce steam and electricity for the Dombasle plant operations, in substitution of coal.

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Energy and resource efficiency

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Energy Decarbonisation

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Energy efficiency improvements

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Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

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Emission removal

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Financing low-carbon issuers or disinvestment from carbon assets

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Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

Design, build, finance and operate a boiler using Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF) in order to produce steam and electricity for the Solvay Dombasle site for at least 20 years. This boiler substitutes the three coal boilers currently in operation on the site which shall be stopped.

Detailed project description

Founded in 1873, Dombasle-sur-Meurthe plant is one of the oldest soda works in the Solvay group and is one of the last two soda plants located in Lorraine. Established on a 50-hectare industrial park the plant houses a production unit as well as a research and development laboratory that works for all the carbonate, bicarbonate and derivatives activities of the Group.


In order to maintain the competitiveness of this site, in the light of its performance and profitability criteria in an increasingly competitive international context, the company Dombasle Énergie was created. It is the result of a partnership between SOLVAY and VEOLIA groups.


Dombasle Energie is carrying out the present project, which consists of designing, building, financing and operating a boiler plant using Solid Recovered Fuels (SRF) to produce steam and electricity for Solvay  Dombasle site for at least 20 years. This boiler room will substitute the three coal-fired boilers currently in operation on the site, which will be stopped.


The project allows:

  • To reduce atmospheric emissions by around 50% and CO2 emissions by 240,000 t / year for the Solvay site of Dombasle, or all in all, around 50% of current fossil emissions. The project includes the investment of an efficient treatment of fumes gases and polluting emissions;
  • To eliminate water intake of the coal boilers which today represent 400 to 500 m3 / h
  • To develop matter recovery by structuring the SRF sector and promote circular economy;
  • To secure the thousand direct and indirect jobs at the Solvay’s Dombasle site, preserve and create jobs in particular for the preparation of SRF and logistics and to create temporary jobs during the construction of the CSR boiler room.

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 1 – Replacement of three coal boilers by two SRF boilers

  • Quantification : 240 ktCO2/year

Dombasle site’s CO2 emissions in 2019 was 600kt as reported in the ETS audit, including

480 kt emitted by its coal boilers, corresponding to 192 kt of coal consumed, considering an emission factor of 2.5 tCO2 / tonne of coal.

The SRF emission coefficient, equivalent to that of natural gas, being 2 times lower than that of coal for equivalent energy, the current CO2 emissions emitted by coal boilers will be divided by half.

So, the use of SRF allows a gain of 240 ktCO2 / year.

Key points

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Invested amount


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Starting date of the project


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Project localisation

Dombasle sur Meurthe, Meurthe et Moselle.

Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3 years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Illustrations of the project

This project contributes to following SDOs :

  • SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation : the project aims to eliminate water intakes for cooling coal boilers, which today represent 400 to 500 m3 / h, as well as to the zero aqueous discharge ambition, excluding rainwater and sanitary water (these are always directed to the networks provided for this purpose).
  • SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy : to ensure the sustainability of the site, the facility produces steam and electricity from the SRF at a competitive price over 20 years
  • SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure : the project promotes the development of a sustainable industry
  • SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production : the project will contribute to the development of material recovery, the promotion of the circular economy, as well as the reduction of the quantities of sorting refusals sent to Storage facilities for non-hazardous wastes.
  • SDG 13 Climate action : the project aims to reduce 240kt CO2 emissions per year.

Solvay is studying the possibility of reproducing this type of project on these plants with the objective of substitute the consumption of coal by alternative fuels that emit less CO2

Public and private funding makes it possible to respect the schedule and achieve the economic equilibrium of the project in order to ensure a stable and competitive price of steam and electricity over 20 years.

  • The main partner is Veolia, which supplies the SRF and will be the operator of the SRF plant
  • ADEME and Grand Est Region : investment and operating aid.
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Contact the company carrying the project :

Solvay’s other projects :


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