Fracking gas shipment '˜expected at Grangemouth within weeks'

The first shipment of shale gas produced by fracking is expected to arrive in Scotland in the next few weeks.

Ineos says that the ethane supply project is a tangible element of the transformation programme at Grangemouth. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ineos says that the ethane supply project is a tangible element of the transformation programme at Grangemouth. Picture: Michael Gillen

One of a fleet of “Dragon-class” ships is due to arrive with the cargo at the Ineos ­petrochemical plant in Grangemouth in September.

Ineos Grangemoth has tweeted a photo of a cargo ship with the ­statement: “Thanks to an important delivery next month, Grangemouth will once again be a #worldclass petrochemical plant.”

Ineos says it has invested more than £1 billion in the facility since it acquired it in the site in 2005, with the company having already constructed the ­largest shale gas storage tank in Europe.

But with the Scottish ­Government having placed a moratorium on fracking, it has to import the gas to its Grangemouth plant in the Falkirk Council area.

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The Grangemouth plant – which employs more than 1,300 people – also tweeted a link to a statement on its website, saying the success of its ethane supply project is key to the site’s future.

It said: “In response to the 60 per cent decline of North Sea gas over the last 10 years, we have no choice but to source our basic raw material (ethane) from outside the UK.

“The ethane supply project is one tangible element of the transformation programme at Grangemouth. Ethane from US shale gas will provide sufficient raw material to run our ­manufacturing site at full rates, something that has not been possible for many years.

“The successful delivery of the project is key to ­turning around the fortunes of the site and those companies and businesses that depend on our long-term presence in Grangemouth, together with the employees, customers and suppliers of those companies.”

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Ineos said the plant at Grangemouth is “undergoing a radical transformation with significant investment that will herald a new era in petrochemical manufacture”.

In March, John ­McNally, chief executive of Ineos Grangemouth, said: ‘’Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland.”