Ineos unveils plans for €2.7-billion European petrochemical complex
Ineos AG, Rolle, Switzerland, has approved a €2.7-billion capital project to build both a grassroots ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in northern Europe.
While a precise location for the project has yet to be determined, Ineos has assigned a project team to consider options for the new units, both of which will be designed to benefit from US shale gas economics, the operator said.
Scheduled to be completed within 4 years, the project—which likely will be on the coast of northwestern Europe—would include the first new cracker to be built in Europe in more than 20 years, as well as become one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly plants of its type in the world, Ineos said.
The proposed investment follows Ineos’ 2017 announcement of plans for a series of proposed grassroots and brownfield projects to expand its ethylene and propylene production capacities in Europe to support continued growth of the company’s European petrochemical business (OGJ Online, June 12, 2017).
“This new project will increase Ineos’ self-sufficiency in all key olefin products and give further support to our derivatives business and polymer plants in Europe; all our assets will benefit from our ability to import competitive raw materials from the [US] and the rest of the world,” said Gerd Franken, chief executive officer of Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe (North).
If approved, the new investment would be the largest made in the European chemical sector for a generation and Ineos’ largest investment ever, said Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman.
The operator disclosed no immediate details regarding either capacities or proposed process technologies for the proposed cracker and PDH unit.
Upon announcing its plan for European petrochemical growth projects last year, however, Ineos said a first project would involve construction of a PDH plant designed to produce 750,000 tonnes/year of propylene for Ineos units across Europe.
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