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Business

Ineos is restarting a once-idle Grangemouth cracker

by Alexander H. Tullo
April 18, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 16

Ineos has completed successful operational trials on an idle ethylene cracker in Grangemouth, Scotland, in preparation for the arrival of seaborne shipments of ethane feedstock from the U.S. The cracker, one of two at the site, was mothballed in 2008. Blaming dwindling feedstocks from North Sea gas fields, the company nearly shuttered the entire Grangemouth complex in 2013. Instead, it opted to spend $2 billion on infrastructure to import ethane into Europe. “When U.S. shale gas finally arrives here in the autumn, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants,” says Gordon Milne, Ineos’s Grangemouth operations director. The gas originates in western Pennsylvania and will be exported from Philadelphia. Last month, an ethane shipment arrived at an Ineos cracker in Norway. Other companies have been working on importing U.S. ethane including Saudi Basic Industries Corp. for its Teesside, England, cracker and Borealis for its Swedish facility. ExxonMobil will purchase imported ethane from Ineos next year for its ethylene plant in Mossmorran, Scotland.

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