Companies which fall under the banner of petrochemical giant Ineos are responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas pollution in Scotland.
Following a weekend where residents of Grangemouth were once again forced to endure clouds of thick black smoke coming from an “unplanned outage” at the local site, figures for 2017 show Ineos – and its related firms – were responsible for almost 10 per cent of all Scotland’s greenhouse gases that year.
Petroineos, in Grangemouth, itself accounted for 1.6 million tons of harmful emissions, while four other associated companies – Grangemouth CHP, Ineos Chemicals, Ineos Infrastructure and Ineos FPS Ltd – combined to generate a further 1.95 million tons of greenhouse gases.
These figures have been released at a time the Scottish Government is looking to reduce harmful emissions in the country through the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 – with targets to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 42 per cent by next year.
An Ineos spokesperson said: “The Ineos Grangemouth industrial complex is one of last major manufacturing facilities left in Scotland, directly employing more than 1350 people and many thousands more indirectly.
“Its products are used in many different and varied applications, maintaining a standard of living and enhancing a way of life we have all come to expect in a modern society.
“The Petroineos crude oil refinery is the only one in Scotland and produces most of the fuel used across the nation. If the nine million tonnes per year of fuels were not produced in Scotland, they would need to be shipped in from elsewhere around the world at considerable environmental impact, and financial cost to road transport users in Scotland.
“The manufacture of petrochemicals that are vital to our everyday lives, and converting crude oil into fuels that heat our homes, deliver goods and services and keeps Scotland on the move are both very energy intensive processes.
“We are therefore constantly looking at ways to drive efficiencies, reduce our energy usage and thereby be more able to compete in the global market. Ineos has recently announced – in February 2019 – multi-million pound investments into its Grangemouth site that will see the construction of new modern energy efficient manufacturing equipment as well as a state of the art power and steam plant.
“This latter significant investment will replace an older power station, improving the overall environmental performance of the site and demonstrating our commitment to reducing emissions from the site.”