Petrochemical giant Ineos has secured a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK Government to help progress the survival plan at its Grangemouth site.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald welcomed confirmation Ineos was in receipt of the loan to build what will be the largest ethane storage tank in Europe.
The loan guarantee was agreed last year as part of a deal to end an industrial dispute after Ineos threatened to close the Grangemouth plant indefinitely unless its demands for pay and pension reforms were met as part of a wider survival plan.
Ineos stated the loan guarantee will allow it to raise the money necessary to build a new terminal to import and store ethane for Grangemouth as North Sea availability declines.
Mr MacDonald said: “This will hopefully help retain the plant here in Grangemouth for decades to come, with of course the knock-on benefit to local industry and the Scottish economy as a whole.”
Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe said: “Without doubt, this is one of the most important infrastructure projects of recent times in Scotland, with implications to be felt right across the UK, not only for employment but also for manufacturing in general.
“Our ability to import US shale gas underpins the future of manufacturing at Grangemouth and across many businesses in Scotland. It is a vital step towards preserving the long term future of the Grangemouth site and those businesses that depend upon its continued presence in Scotland.”
Falkirk Council approved a planning application for the ethane storage facility in May, and Ineos subsequently agreed contract terms with Germany-based TGE Gas Engineering to construct the terminal.