Ineos Oxide invests €200 Million in Europe
Ineos Oxide has announced plans to invest €200 million at its European plants. The bulk of the money, €150 million, will go to upgrade ethylene oxide (EO) production at its Zwijndrecht site in Antwerp, Belgium, where 20 years ago it bought out former EO producer Inspec.
At Zwijndrecht, the funds will be pumped into modernizing EO storage and distribution facilities, thereby adding 2,000 t of storage capacity. Plans also include debottlenecking and increasing EO production.
By the end of this year, a sixth alcoxylation unit is due to start up at the Belgian site, nucleus of the European group that has grown rapidly in the past two decades, for the most part through acquisition.
The company also wants to take over its own power supply at Zwijndrecht. It has reached agreement with German-owned utility RWE to buy the Inesco Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant that supplies the production site.
Ineos said this acquisition, set to close by the end of 2018 subject to regulatory approvals, will ensure the continued, reliable supply of steam as a critical feedstock for its plants as well as those of its co-siting partners.
Elsewhere, the company will spend €50 million on upgrading EO production at Lavera in southern France to meet increased European demand. Altogether, the investments are designed to improve reliability, efficiency and availability of the product in Antwerp as well as at Cologne, Germany and Lavera, it said.
The Ineos offshoot is also mulling plans to invest in a $20 billion EO complwx on the US Gulf Coast.