Ineos gears up Grangemouth for US shale imports

INEOS's plant at Grangemouth
INEOS's plant at Grangemouth

The operator of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant confirmed a second manufacturing unit will be reopened as the site prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the US.

Ineos said it has successfully completed trials on the unit eight years after it was mothballed.

The KG ethylene cracker was unable to operate at full capacity but US ethane will be used as a supplementary feed when deliveries to the plant begin in the autumn.

Gordon Milne, operations director at Ineos Grangemouth, said the move will take the facility into the “premier league of European petrochemical plants”.

He said: “With the successful completion of the Train 2 trial we are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate.”
“Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland.”

The project will see Ineos acquire gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania.

Eight Dragon class ships will deliver the gas to a new import terminal at Grangemouth featuring the biggest shale gas storage tank in Europe.

John McNally, chief executive of Ineos Grangemouth, said: “We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now a step closer to seeing this advantage being brought to here to Grangemouth.”

Milne added: “We are one of the few businesses in Scotland investing and growing our business on such a scale as this.”

“All the parts of the jigsaw are finally coming together and Grangemouth will soon be back in the premier league of European petrochemical plants.”

The new import terminal at Grangemouth will also benefit the Fife Ethylene Plant facility in Mossmorran, Scotland after it was announced that the owners of the plant had agreed a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from mid 2017.

Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement supplies from North Sea natural gas fields.