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The Belgian chemicals giant is splitting up into two listed entities: EssentialCo will retain the Solvay name while the plastics business now will be known as Syensqo.

Posted by Staff

June 19, 2023

2 Min Read
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The split up of Solvay, whose business units include engineering thermoplastics and composites, is due to be executed in December of this year, with the tentatively named SpecialtyCo and EssentialCo officially christened as Syensqo and Solvay, respectively.

Syensqo will play a key role in the future of clean mobility by making the next generation of EV batteries possible and by advancing green hydrogen and thermoplastic composites, said the news release. It will also reportedly bring about breakthroughs in bio-based materials, natural ingredients, and circular solutions.

Syensqo will include the Specialty Polymers and Composites businesses of the former Solvay as well as the four growth platforms in batteries, green hydrogen, thermoplastic composites, and renewable materials and biotechnology. The businesses within Syensqo generated approximately €7.9 billion ($8.6 billion) in net sales in 2022.

What’s in a name? In the case of Syensqo, plenty. It has a strong connection to Solvay’s history of science. The breakdown of the name is as follows:

  • “Sy” links back to the first and last letters in Solvay.

  • “En” is a nod to company founder Ernest Solvay’s name.

  • “Syens” refers to Solvay’s scientific heritage, which goes back to 1911, when founder Ernest Solvay brought together 24 brilliant scientific minds — including Albert Einstein and Marie Curie — for the first Solvay Conference. The impact was so profound that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the archives of the Solvay Conferences for Physics and Chemistry in its Memory of the World Register.

  • “Q” points to this same 1911 conference, which laid the foundations for quantum physics and launched one of the greatest scientific journeys ever, still feeding cutting-edge innovation today.

  • And finally, “qo” stands for company.

No mention of the correct pronunciation was made in Solvay’s announcement, but one might assume something along the lines of ScienceCo.

The Solvay entity’s continuing business portfolio, meanwhile, will include Soda Ash, Peroxides, Silica, Coatings, and Special Chem, which generated approximately €5.6 billion ($6.1 billion) in net sales in 2022. Peroxides are used as initiators to polymerize low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as well as unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins employed in glass-reinforced plastics, among other uses.

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