Wood wins contract to engineer Ineos’ huge European chemicals project

Article by Adam Duckett

WOOD has won a contract worth more than US$100m to help engineer a chemicals facility in Belgium for Ineos which is designed to have the lowest carbon footprint in Europe.

Ineos is investing up to €4bn (US$4.13bn) in a world-scale ethylene plant in Antwerp, with the 1.5m t/y facility scheduled to begin production in 2026. It is the largest investment in the European chemicals sector in the last 20 years. Wood has won the engineering, procurement, and construction management services contract focused on the outside battery limit facilities for the ethane cracker. Wood will employ around 300 people on the project from its centres in Reading, UK, Milan, Italy, its global engineering centre in India, and in Antwerp during construction.

Ineos has said its design for the project will include an ethane cracker with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe, at three times lower than the average European steam cracker and less than half that of the 10% best performers in Europe. The chemicals major said the facility will make use of best available technologies and its design will be flexible enough to integrate other technologies as they mature – including CCS, the use of hydrogen fuel as it becomes available, and electrification of cracking furnaces. It said it wants the cracker to become climate-neutral within ten years of startup.

Giuseppe Zuccaro, President of Process & Chemicals at Wood, said: “The chemicals sector, like all industries, is forging its own path to carbon neutrality. What [this project] represents is the next era of ethylene production, a key component in most plastics. Through the combination of technology and an innovative technical design approach, it will be the most sustainable and energy-efficient steam cracker in Europe.”

Earlier this year, Ineos awarded Técnicas Reunidas the project management, engineering, procurement and construction management, and supervision services contract for the project.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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