INEOS signs agreement with ExxonMobil, Shell to supply ethane from U.S. Shale gas

Sources: INEOS, ExxonMobil, Shell

The Fife Ethylene Plant is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene facilities. The plant started production in 1985, and is one of only four natural gas-fed steam crackers in Europe.

INEOS signs agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe BV to supply ethane from U.S. shale gas from Grangemouth to the Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland.

·  The Fife Plant will receive U.S. ethane from shale gas via the new import terminal at INEOS Grangemouth. 

·  The deal ensures the competitiveness of the Fife Ethylene Plant.

·  New sources of ethane for feedstock will complement North Sea supplies.

·  “This is a landmark agreement for everyone involved,” says Geir Tuft Business Director at INEOS O&P UK. “U.S. ethane from shale gas will provide an additional resource, supplementing domestic production from the North Sea. It will now be used by two of Scotland’s largest manufacturing plants helping to secure their feedstock supply for years to come.”

 

INEOS Europe AG, ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe B.V. today announced a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from US shale gas for the Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) at Mossmorran in Scotland, from mid 2017.

 

The Fife plant will receive ethane from INEOS’ new import terminal in Grangemouth, Scotland. Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement  supplies from North Sea natural gas fields. The agreement will also ensure the competitiveness of a major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs in the long run.

FEP is owned and operated by ExxonMobil and Shell has 50 percent capacity rights.

 

Ethane gas is a vital raw material needed to produce ethylene, which itself is used in the manufacture of a broad range of products across the UK and is exported to Europe and other world markets. Access to ethane from shale production will provide sufficient raw material to run UK steamcrackers to make ethylene at full operating rates.

 

“This is a landmark agreement for everyone involved”, says Geir Tuft Business Director at INEOS O&P UK. “We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now seeing this advantage being shared across Scotland.”

“Today’s agreement helps to secure additional feedstock for the Fife plant,” said Karen McKee, vice president of ExxonMobil’s global basic chemicals business.  

“This agreement gives FEP access to the new infrastructure developed by INEOS and in so doing brings US advantaged ethane to FEP. The agreement will help us to meet the long-term needs of our ethylene customers” said Elise Nowee, General Manager Base Chemicals Europe, Shell Chemicals.

INEOS has committed £450 million to construct the new ethane import terminal at its Grangemouth facility. It represents the most significant investment in UK petrochemical manufacturing in recent times and is supported by both the UK and Scottish governments. An existing pipeline will transport the gas from Grangemouth to Fife.

The Fife Ethylene Plant is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene facilities. The plant started production in 1985, and is one of only four natural gas-fed steam crackers in Europe. It was the first plant specifically designed to use natural gas liquids from the North Sea as feedstock. Alongside INEOS Grangemouth, it supplies manufacturing in Scotland, the rest of the UK and export markets with ethylene. It has an annual capacity of 830,000 tonnes of ethylene. Shell Chemicals has 50 percent capacity rights at the Fife Ethylene Plant.

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