INEOS Group is investing more than £1 billion to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at its integrated refining and petrochemical manufacturing operations at Grangemouth, Scotland, about 40 km west of Edinburgh.
Launched to support the Scottish government’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045 as well as ensure long-term competitiveness and sustainability of its Grangemouth businesses in a decarbonized economy, the new GHG-reduction investment—which follows an already more than £500-million worth of projects under current implementation at the site—will cover initiatives to move all Grangemouth operations to production and use of hydrogen accompanied by carbon capture and storage (CCS) of at least 1 million tonnes/year (tpy) of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030, INEOS said.
Alongside construction of a new carbon capture-equipped hydrogen production plant, specific projects included under the investment also will include works to enable capturing CO2 from Grangemouth’s existing hydrogen production as part of a recently formed partnership between site operators Petroineos Refining Ltd., INEOS Chemicals Grangemouth Ltd., INEOS FPS Ltd. with the Acorn CCS and hydrogen project, the UK’s most advanced large-scale CCS program under development at the St Fergus gas terminal at Peterhead, Scotland (OGJ Online, July 16, 2021; June 9, 2021).
Additional emission-reduction measures at Grangemouth will include projects aimed at energy reduction and optimization, electrification of key equipment, shifting the site’s polymer production portfolio to involve higher levels of post-consumer recycled content, INEOS said.
Building on the 37% (2-million tpy) reduction in net-CO2 emissions already achieved at Grangemouth since acquiring the site from bp in 2005, INEOS said its expanded Grangemouth net-zero roadmap and accompanying investments well position the company to slash overall site emissions to less than 2 million tpy—or 60% below 2005 levels—by 2030, and to zero by 2045.
Admittedly “ambitious but achievable,” the Grangemouth 2030 and 2045 net-zero targets align with Scotland’s target of becoming a net zero economy as well as harmonizes with INEOS’ internal commitment to support goals of the Paris Climate Accord to combat climate change, which Andrew Gardner, chairman of INEOS Grangemouth Ltd., referred to as “one of the most urgent environmental, economic, and social issues of our time.”
In addition to INEOS O&P’s petrochemical plants and INEOS FPS’ land and processing operations for its Forties pipeline system, the Grangemouth site houses the 210,00-b/d refinery—Scotland’s only—operated by Grangemouth Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland Ltd., a subsidiary of Petroineos Refining, a joint venture of Ineos Investments (Jersey) Ltd. and China National Petroleum Corp.’s PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PetroChina) subsidiary PetroChina International London Co. Ltd. (OGJ Online, Nov. 19, 2020).
Hydrogen will play an especially important role in decarbonization of the Grangemouth plants, according to Stuart Collings, chief executive officer of INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK (INEOS O&P), which operates Grangemouth’s olefins and petrochemical units.
“Building the infrastructure for large-scale utilization of hydrogen creates a foundation to achieve net zero by 2045 and enables wider use of hydrogen by INEOS and others in and around Grangemouth,” Collings said.
The proposed hydrogen infrastructure buildout will include a network initially based on grey (fossil fuel-derived) hydrogen, before moving to blue (fossil fuel-derived + CO2 capture) hydrogen, and ultimately green (bio-derived + renewable energy + CO2 capture) hydrogen as technology and demand advances, according to the operator’s website.