Ineos has announced that a second manufacturing unit at its Grangemouth KG ethylene plant has been brought back to life eight years after being mothballed.
Ineos said it has completed successful operational trials as it gets ready to receive shale gas ethane from the United States.
“We are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate,” said Gordon Milne, INEOS Grangemouth Operations Director.
“When US shale gas finally arrives here in the autumn, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants.
“Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland.”
The company said the US ethane will be used as a supplementary feed for the KG ethylene plant at a time when North Sea supplies are dwindling and will allow the plant to run at increased rates.
“We are one of the few businesses in Scotland investing and growing our business on such a scale as this,” said Milne.
Ineos said the new investment “brings US shale gas economics to Europe.”
It said the project includes contracts to acquire gas from the Marcellus Shale field in Western Pennsylvania.
The project will bring with it a connection to the new 300 mile Mariner East Pipeline to bring the gas to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia.
The project also brings the design and commissioning of eight Dragon class ships that will create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic, and construction of a new import terminal at Grangemout that includes the biggest shale gas storage tank in Europe.
“Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland,” said John McNally, CEO of Ineos Grangemouth.
“We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now a step closer to seeing this advantage being brought here to Grangemouth.”
Ineos said the new import terminal at Grangemouth will also benefit the Fife Ethylene Plant facility in Mossmorran, Scotland after it was announced that the owners of that plant had agreed a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from mid 2017.