US shale gas supports Ineos UK plant expansion

Ineos AG, Rolle, Switzerland, is planning a multimillion-pound investment at subsidiary Ineos Oxide’s manufacturing site at Saltend, near Hull, UK, to expand production of a specialized solvent to be made from a main feedstock of US shale gas-derived ethylene produced at Ineos’ operations in Grangemouth, Scotland.

The proposed expansion will add another 100,000 tonnes/year of capacity at an individual Hull plant dedicated to production of ethyl acetate, a solvent in high demand for use in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks, and flexible packaging, Ineos said.

Commissioned in 2001 and purchased from BP Chemicals Ltd. in April 2008, the Hull ethyl acetate plant already is operating at its full-design capacity of 250,000 tpy, Ineos said.

The project is scheduled to be completed, with new capacity on stream, by yearend 2017.

Details regarding the precise capital investment required for the project were not disclosed.

Expansion plans for Hull are supported by Ineos’ $1-billion program to import price-advantaged US shale ethane supplies into Scotland as part of its move to revive and sustain its European refining and petrochemical businesses (OGJ Online, Mar. 30, 2016).

The Hull manufacturing plant will receive ethylene shipments from Ineos’ Grangemouth petrochemical plant via an existing 151-km ethylene pipeline that runs from Teesside, UK, to Saltend.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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