Solvay moves its HQ: “The costs of the current site, which is getting old, are too high”

Solvay moves its HQ: “The costs of the current site, which is getting old, are too high”

In addition, the group is preparing its split into two entities, which should be formalized next summer. This move of the seat is therefore perhaps a step. The new site, located rue de la Fusée (near NATO) will therefore house Solvay’s Research & Innovation activities and administrative services.

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Located in the Brussels municipality of Haren, the future Solvay site is equipped with large research spaces, an efficient digital structure and enjoys great accessibility, making it possible to offer its employees a workplace commensurate with the quality and modernity requirements of the group, particularly in terms of innovation and collaboration”, specifies Solvay in a press release.

We recognize that in terms of accessibility, this seems out of all proportion to the current site. Nevertheless, let us recall that in 2018, a previous project for a “new headquarters” had been unveiled in 2018 and was to take shape on the Neder-over-Heembeek campus. So why such a turnaround?

Since then, a lot has changed”, recognizes Peter Boelaert, spokesperson, who recalls the arguments cited above. Obviously, the site designed on plans in 2018 was born from the spirit of the former leader, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu. However, the current CEO, Ilham Kadri, who arrived in 2019, has decided to review the general organization and opt for a smaller and more economical site. “Cut operating costs by two-thirds“, quickly specifies the spokesperson. “The costs of the current campus, which is getting old, are too high. A lot of renovations needed to be done. Solvay opts for a complete change”he specifies again, without revealing the amount allocated to the move. Either way, all jobs will be kept, we are told.

According to Nathalie Van Ypersele, communication manager, all avenues for the resale of the current site remain on the table. No door is closed. “If Solvay bought the site in 1952, the HQ has only been on campus since 2013. We are therefore not leaving a seat that could be described as historic”, she smiles, specifying that the place was above all a place of research.

One-year transition period

This is an exceptional opportunity for Solvay, an environment conducive to new ways of working, which considerably improves our environmental impact compared to our current site and offers us a competitive solution with a reduction in operating costs”confirms Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay.

But also, this project corresponds to the strategic ambitions of Solvay. The availability of other facilities nearby makes the move compatible with the project to create two new companies, both with their headquarters in Brussels”she confirms.

The transition period will last 12 months from April 2023 and the new site is expected to accommodate approximately 800 employees. It remains to be seen what will become of the current “Solvay campus”.

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