INEOS – which owns and operates the Grangemouth petrochem refinery – has commissioned eight large-volume Dragon class ships to transport liquefied shale gas ethane from the US to Europe.
And the company – which owns a number of licences to explore for shale oil / gas in the Central Belt – has now put roof in place that covers Europe’s biggest ethane storage tank at Grangemouth.
The huge tank is 56 metres in diameter and 44 metres high – that gives it a displacement volume of 108,372 cubic metres – large enough for 560 double decker buses to fit inside.
The investment in the Grangemouth tank and infrastructure is part of the company’s £450 million rescue package to equip the site to import ethane gas from the US. The project will transform Grangemouth overnight and will allow its manufacturing assets to once more compete globally, providing raw materials for thousands of manufacturing businesses across the UK and Europe.
John McNally, Chief Executive, INEOS O&P UK, said: “We know that US ethane has transformed US manufacturing and now Scottish industry will benefit as well.
“This will secure a cost-effective supply of ethane for the next 15 years, and give a sustainable base for Grangemouth for that time – this is a landmark day for Grangemouth.
“Bringing US ethane to Europe is a huge undertaking involving INEOS experts from across the globe. To raise the roof of this huge tank means that yet another milestone for the project has been reached.
“It is still early days on this project as we now set to work on the internal structure of the tank and the surrounding infrastructure. We are on schedule for the first US ethane to arrive in Grangemouth during the second half of 2016.”
The building of Europe’s largest ethane storage tank is part of INEOS’ $1 billion global project to bring US shale gas to Europe as supplies dwindle from the North Sea.
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