Grangemouth ‘has a future’ - Ineos boss

Sir James Ratcliffe, chairman and chief executive of Ineos Chemicals Group.
Sir James Ratcliffe, chairman and chief executive of Ineos Chemicals Group.

A £2.7bn investment by Ineos in the Port of Antwerp won’t affect the future of the company’s Grangemouth plant, says owner and chief executive Sir James Ratcliffe.

In an interview with the London Times published this weekend the Ineos boss says the Grangemouth plant will remain part of the company’s long-term future.

The key to future success is said to centre on the processing of cheap raw materials imported from the USA.

According to the Times the massive outlay on a hi-tech gas cracker at the Port of Antwerp is the largest yet made by Ineos.

The Belgian plant will break down natural gas byproduct ethane into ethylene, which can then be used to manufacture plastics.

The Times account makes the point that a similar facility is already in existence in Grangemouth.

Meanwhile the firm is appealing against a decision by an English local authority to refuse permission for a second test drilling,

Last year Rotheram Council planners unanimously refused an Ineos bid to drill a well 2,800 metres deep on a greenbelt site.

If the decision were to be overturned Ineos would gain temporary permnission for up to five years for a scheme involving site surveys and preparation, then drilling.

The drill rig involved would reportedly be up to 60 metres high.