INEOS has announced that €3.5 billion has been secured for its Project ONE, something it describes as the “greenest cracked in Europe”.
This investment is the largest investment in the European chemical sector “for a generation,” according to the UK-based chemical firm.
The investment from 21 backers will go towards the construction of the Methane cracker facility.
The cracker will produce ethylene, a material used in insulation, lightweight vehicles, plastics for medical purposes, healthcare and food hygiene, as well as technology for renewable energy.
There will be 2,500 people working on the site at the peak of construction and the facility will create 450 new jobs, 300 of which will be on payroll with the remainder being made up of permanent contractors.
Following four years of construction, the plant is set to begin production in 2026.
Located in the Belgian city of Antwerp, the cracker is said to have the lowest carbon footprint of all European crackers and five times better than the worst in Europe and two times better than the best.
The plant is designed to use low-carbon hydrogen and when the supply of this fuel source becomes high enough the facility will have zero carbon footprint.
There will also be room in the space for a carbon capture facility and future electric furnaces.
The debt will be drawn in stages to support the spend profile of the project through to completion.
Jason Meers, chief financial officer for INEOS Project ONE says: “This is an incredibly important moment for INEOS. Our ethane cracker will set new environmental standards for Europe as well as help revitalize the whole of the European chemical industry.
“Project ONE is a game changer for Europe. It will bring new opportunities to the chemical cluster in Antwerp as well as strengthen the resilience of the whole of
the European chemical sector.
“We are thrilled to reach this milestone and secure this funding.
“Bringing together such a large number of environmentally focused commercial banks alongside four governmental agencies demonstrates the huge importance of the project.”