THE construction of Europe’s largest ethane storage tank is on schedule following six months of building work, Ineos said.
The operators of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant said the installation of the tank’s 330-tonne roof was a “landmark day” for the multi-million-pound project. Ineos hopes to begin importing shale gas from the US by the end of next year.
Work is set to begin on the tank’s internal structure after the roof was lifted into place using four low-pressure fans. The tank is 56m in diameter and 44m high and is designed to hold more than 60,000 cubic metres of ethane.
John McNally, chief executive of Ineos O&P UK, said: “This is a landmark day for Grangemouth.
“We know that US ethane has transformed US manufacturing and now Scottish industry will benefit as well. This will secure a cost-effective supply of ethane for the next 15 years, and give a sustainable base for Grangemouth for that time.
“To raise the roof of this huge tank means that yet another milestone for the project has been reached.
“It is still early days on this project as we now set to work on the internal structure of the tank and the surrounding infrastructure. We are on schedule for the first US ethane to arrive in Grangemouth during the second half of 2016.”
Scottish ministers have imposed a moratorium on granting planning consents for hydraulic fracturing, or ‘’fracking’’, for shale gas in Scotland to allow for further research into the controversial process.