Investment sought to save Grangemouth jobs

BOSSES at Ineos are to lobby the Scottish Energy Minister to win his support for a £20 million investment for the upgrading of a key pipeline that feeds the giant oil and gas complex in Grangemouth.

They see the spend as vital towards securing the future of its 1300-strong workforce.

The company is already talking to Shell about a possible deal to adapt the pipeline – used to carry ethane from its petrochemical processing plant at Mossmorran to Grangemouth – to carry the heavier gasses propane and butane.

Ineos fears the decline of ethane supplies from the North Sea's Forties field will soon mean there will not be enough to feed its KG cracker plant, which produces around one million tonnes of ethylene each year.

This is used to make carrier bags and plastic packaging and is said to be worth around 2 billion to the Scottish economy.

The company is keen to use propane and butane, which can also be converted into ethylene and propylene to maintain output.

But discussions with Shell, which also supplies the Exxon-Mobil cracker at Mossmorran and liquifies the propane and other heavier gasses to be exported by ship, appear to have stalled.

Gordon Grant, Ineos works general manager, said: "We are speaking to energy minister Jim Mather to get his support because we see the KG plant as crucial.

''It's no secret that North Sea feedstocks are declining and as the field gets older light gasses like ethane will be in shorter and shorter supply.

''At the moment Shell at Mosmorran exports the gas, and we see the value of keeping it in Scotland and increasing the availability of local Scottish supplies"

Read the full story in The Falkirk Herald