INEOS announced that has it has chosen Antwerp, Belgium as the location for a USD3 billion investment, which is supposed to be the largest investment in the European chemicals industry “in a generation.”
The privately owned group said it would build two new petrochemical facilities at its current site in the port of Antwerp. INEOS will build an ethane gas cracker, the first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years, and a world-scale PDH unit.
Among the reasons for selecting Antwerp were the company’s strong manufacturing presence in Belgium and the fact that the site is well-connected with chemicals infrastructure, such as export and import facilities and pipelines.
The investment is a game changer for the chemical sectors and will bring huge benefits to Belgium and wider European economies.
“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 sector,” said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS founder and chairman.
The new petrochemical complex will be co-located within INEOS’ existing sites 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, with six of these located in Antwerp and three Research and Technology centres.
“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,” said John McNally, CEO of the project.
“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,” Rob Ingram, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe, added.