INEOS has announced that Antwerp, Belgium, will be the location for its multi-billion dollar project for an ethane gas cracker and world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Europe. The $3.42bn investment is the largest investment in the European chemicals sector in 20 years and could be a game-changer for the Belgium economy.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, CEO and chairman of INEOS, said: “Our investment in a gas cracker and world-scale PDH unit is the largest of its kind in Europe for more than a generation and is an important development for the European petrochemical industry.We believe this investment will reverse years of decline in the European chemicals sector.”
The new petrochemical complex will be co-located with INEOS’ existing sites in Europe making polymers and will be connected by pipeline to a number of INEOS ethylene and propylene derivative units in the region.
INEOS already has a major presence in Belgium, employing 2,500 people across nine manufacturing sites and one technology centre, with six of these located in Antwerp.
John McNally, CEO of the project, said: “The selection of Antwerp as a location for these new assets is a significant step-forward for the development of this project. This decision builds upon our long-standing relationship with the Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, and the governments of Flanders and Belgium.”
Rob Ingram, CEO, INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe North, said: “The addition of these world-scale assets, using cutting-edge technologies that are also highly energy efficient, will give us a competitive and sustainable cost base.We believe this will significantly strengthen the whole of the ethylene and propylene derivative chains within INEOS and allows us to continue to support the growth and development of our customers for years to come.”