Ineos Hatches Chemical Park Plan for Grangemouth

23.12.2013 -

Ineos has hinted that it plans to turn its petrochemical site at Grangemouth into a chemical park with shared services. Attracting other chemical players to the huge Scottish complex would allow it to share soaring energy and other utility costs, the Swiss-based group said.

Currently, group director Tom Crotty said, Ineos is only using a third to half of its property at the site it acquired from BP in 2005. He said the group plans to work together with institutions such as the business development agency Scottish Enterprise to find companies looking to locate in the area.

Some 14 other companies, including Dow, Austria-based Borealis and German gases group Messer, operate on Ineos' property at Grangemouth. Dow recently announced plans to close its plastics additives plant at Grangemouth, freeing up additional space, and more parcels will be released when Ineos closes one of its two crackers along with downstream benzene and butadiene plants.

The closures are planned to coincide with the arrival of cheap light feed ethane from the US in 2016. The petrochemical giant also recently was ensured UK £150 million in public funding for a new £300 million terminal it plans to build to import shale-gas derived ethane from the U.S.

Meanwhile, the group's UK arm, Ineos Grangemouth (UK) said "almost the entire workforce" of 1,350 had agreed to the group's survival plan for the Scottish site. This foresees cuts in pensions and prohibits strikes for three years. In October, Ineos had threatened to end its Grangemouth presence after less than half the workforce, backed by the trade union Unite, initially declined to accept the conditions. The employee agreement puts the company "in a good position to bring in significant new investment," said Calum MacLean, who heads the UK operation.