Ineos’ £350m commitment to Grangemouth ‘will protect jobs’

An investment by chemicals giant Ineos of more than a third of a £1 billion UK investment package spells a bright future for Grangemouth, says the firm.

Ineos predicts the £350m will help the plant continue its “renaissance” as a world class petrochemicals site.

The news, whose main focus was on the massive new investment in the Forties Pipeline, came hard on the heels of national news stories which raised questions about tax breaks said to have been offered by EU countries to Sir James Ratcliffe.

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Just days later the Ineos boss was able to point to the investment as eloquent testimony to the real strength of his company’s commitment to the UK.

In local terms the cash earmarked for Grangemouth - to be spent mainly on replacing a power station around 40 years old - is seen as protecting jobs.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, reacting to the news, said: “Whatever you think of the tax affairs and residency arrangements of Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe this investment in Grangemouth and in the Forties pipeline is welcome news, further securing the future of the Grangemouth refinery and petro-chemical plant and sustaining employment figures locally.

“It is also good news that Ineos will use the extra funding to address some of the environmental issues at the site, not least the new energy plant which will provide steam and power to all of the Grangemouth facilities, using less energy and saving costs”.

However Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) are incensed at the Forties element of the investment package, arguing that bringing fossil fuels ashore for decades to come flies in the face of a claimed “urgent need” to radically transform energy, transport and food systems - by cutting the use of fossil fuels.

FoES director Dr Richard Dixon said: “The last thing the climate needs is yet more fossil fuels.

“Instead of prolonging our dependence on oil and fuelling our ocean of plastic waste, INEOS should be helping transform Grangemouth into a centre of zero-carbon industry.

“With concern about climate change at an all time high, new emissions targets being agreed, petrol and diesel cars being phased out and a crack down on using plastic, INEOS are investing in the technology of the past instead of the future.”