INEOS will invest €2.7bn (US$3.1bn) to build a new ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation unit in northwest Europe.
It will be the first cracker built in Europe for 20 years, and has been described by Ineos as a world-scale plant that will be one of the most efficient and environmentally-friendly of its type in the world. It says a project team is considering options for the location of the project, which it expects to be operational within four years.
Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of Ineos and an IChemE Honorary Fellow, said: “This is the largest investment to be made in the European chemical sector for a generation. It will be a game changer for the industry and shows our commitment to manufacturing.”
The investment follows the decision last year to expand the capacity of its existing crackers, which was in turn made possible by a US$2bn investment in ships to import cheap ethane feedstock from the US.
“This new investment builds on the huge investment we made in bringing US shale gas to Europe and will ensure the long-term future of our European chemical plants,” Ratcliffe said.