Refinery owner Ineos to reopen key Grangemouth plant

Petrochemicals firm Ineos has announced it will reopen a second production line at Grangemouth offering Scotland's energy sector a major boost.

Ineos's Grangemouth plant. Picture: submitted
Ineos's Grangemouth plant. Picture: submitted

The KG ethylene plant will have its second manufacturing unit brought back to life eight years after it was ­mothballed.

Ineos has completed operational trials as it prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the United States.

Grangemouth operations director Gordon Milne said: “We are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate. 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 gas supplier confirmed last week that it has completed trials on the second manufacturing unit, known as Train 2.

Train 2 has undergone rigorous recommissioning trials to prepare for the arrival of US shale gas ethane. The first deliveries are expected to arrive by ship at Grangemouth in the autumn.

In 2008 the KG ethylene cracker was unable to operate at full capacity and Ineos had to close the second manufacturing unit.

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.

Gordon Milne, added: “All the parts of the jigsaw are finally coming together and Grangemouth will soon be back in the premier league of European petrochemical plants. Ineos is one of very few companies with the imagination and skill to vision and deliver a project of this size and complexity.”

The project includes the construction of a new import terminal including the biggest shale gas storage tank in Europe at Grangemouth.

This new terminal will also benefit the Fife Ethylene plant facility after it was announced the owners of the plant had agreed a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from mid 2017.