Recently lodged account details show petrochemical giant Ineos made a loss of £16.3 million at its Grangemouth site last year.
As the company continues to look forward to a future centred on shale gas – imported from the USA and supplied from local sources – the annual report of the accounts for the period up to December 31, 2014, show it suffered the eight-figure loss despite the fact it increased turnover to more than £240 million and made cost reductions of £32.8 million at the site over the last year.
According to Ineos the cost reductions “paved the way to restoring sustained profitability and improving cash flow in the long term”.
The firm’s strategic report, lodged with Companies House, also stated the current economic climate made the longer term outlook for the site “challenging”.
It added 2014 was “a busy year”, with the overhaul of the plant’s hydrocracker complex taking around half a million man-hours to complete and that “trading conditions in the refining sector continued to be difficult” due to slow growth in Europe and competition from imports from other regions.
Back in 2013, when the site’s future was reportedly in jeopardy and a high profile dispute blew up between union and management, Ineos reported pre-tax losses of £20.8 million on a turnover of £214.9 million.
Ineos chief executive Jim Ratcliffe said the company was looking to become the biggest player in shale gas fracking in the UK and it already owns shale gas exploration licences across 700 square miles of Scotland.
Mr Ratcliffe stated the industry will be thriving within the next few years, despite the current moratorium imposed by the Scottish Government on all fracking practices.