Ineos Europe AG, Switzerland, said it has reached the latest milestones in its $500 million survival plan to import US shale gas to its 210,000-b/d Grangemouth, Scotland, refinery and petrochemical complex.
The company has selected TGE Gas Engineering, Bonn, as the preferred bidder on the Grangemouth ethane tank build contract, with both companies now having signed a heads of terms for delivery of the project, according to Ineos.
The ethane gas terminal will enable Grangemouth to remain competitive as Ineos looks to replace quickly dwindling North Sea feedstocks, the company said.
TGE already is building the ethane import terminal for the company’s plant in Rafnes, Norway, Ineos added. “By 2016, Grangemouth will be a shale gas-based facility, essential for it to become a profitable business again,” said Harry Deans, chief executive officer for Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe.
As part of the survival plan, Ineos said it also is moving ahead immediately with the closure of its old ethylene cracker (G4) and the associated butadiene (BE3) plant at Grangemouth.
Shuttering of the G4 and BE3 plants, which were built in the 1960s, will allow the company to concentrate on increasing the production from its more modern and efficient KG ethylene cracker, according to Ineos.
Ineos first announced the Grangemouth ethane terminal in February, at which time it was continuing to secure US shale gas supplies for its European cracking operations (OGJ Online, Feb. 17, 2014; Oct. 8, 2012).