The INEOS Insight and INEOS Ingenuity are the first two of a fleet of eight ships built to provide a “virtual pipeline” with capacity to transport over 800,000 tonnes a year of ethane gas at -90°C across the Atlantic from the USA to Norway and Scotland.
The building of these ships is part of a $1 billion project which also includes access to US shale gas, capacity contracts to transport the gas across hundreds of miles of pipelines; to the building of export facilities in the USA and import facilities in Europe.
This project will revolutionise the competitive position of INEOS in Europe by reducing both its feedstock and energy costs.
INEOS Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe said: “Today is a landmark day for both INEOS and our European facilities.
“We have seen how US shale gas revolutionised US manufacturing and we believe the completion of this project will help do the same for Europe.
INEOS has also built two brand new import terminals to receive the gas at its petrochemical plants at Grangemouth (Scotland) and at Rafnes in Norway.
The massive project is on schedule to deliver shale gas into Norway later this year and then into Grangemouth next year. Just last week the roof of Europe’s largest ethane gas storage tank was raised into place at Grangemouth in Scotland, marking the end of yet another major milestone in the project.
Ratcliffe added, “Bringing US Shale gas to Europe is been a huge undertaking, involving INEOS experts from across the globe. To see these two state of the art ships finally completed here in China means that this vast project will soon be fully operational. US Shale gas will help keep our businesses competitive for years to come and guarantee long terms jobs and investment”.
“But INEOS does not only intend to import shale gas to Europe. The company is the third biggest owner of shale gas licences in the UK and has applied for many more from the UK government.
“It is INEOS’ intention to become the UK’s biggest indigenous shale gas player and to lead a UK and European Shale gas revolution.
Today, we have shown that INEOS has the skills and vision to bring US shale gas to Europe.
“In the longer term, we plan to develop an indigenous UK shale gas industry. We know we have the resources to make it happen, the expertise to extract the gas safely and the vision to make sure that the local communities share the rewards with us.”
Scottish Energy Fergus Ewing announced a moratorium on any planning applications for explore for shall gas in Scotland earlier this year. Notwithstanding this INEOS management is confident that when the commercial and safety facts of shale gas are fully considered, the moratorium will be lifted.
The UK Shale Energy Conference 2015: Will Shale Gas Replace Oil in the UK – With or Without Fracking? – http://goo.gl/hrEzOi