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INEOS prepares mothballed UK ethane cracker for US shale feedstocks

April 01/2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The second manufacturing unit at Grangemouth’s KG ethylene plant is brought back to life eight years after being mothballed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing INEOS's officials. 

INEOS says it recently completed successful operational trials as it prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the US as petrochemical feedstock. "We are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate," said Gordon Milne, operations director at INEOS Grangemouth. "When US shale gas finally arrives here in the autumn, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants. Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland."

Specifically, INEOS confirmed that it has completed successful operational trials on the second manufacturing unit (Train 2) of its gas cracker at Grangemouth, eight years after being mothballed. Train 2 has undergone rigorous recommissioning trials to prepare for the arrival of US shale gas ethane, the company said. The first deliveries of US shale gas are expected to arrive by ship at Grangemouth in the fall of this year.

In 2008, the KG ethylene cracker was unable to operate at full capacity, and INEOS was left with no option but to close the second manufacturing unit. The US ethane will be used as a supplementary feed for the KG ethylene plant at a time when North Sea supplies are dwindling. It will also allow the plant to run at increased rates.

The INEOS investment should bring US shale gas economics to Europe, the company says. The project includes contracts to acquire gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania; connection to the new, 300-mile Mariner East pipeline to bring the gas to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia; the design and commissioning of eight Dragon-class ships that will create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic; and the construction of a new import terminal, including the biggest shale gas storage tank in Europe at Grangemouth.

The new import terminal at Grangemouth will also benefit the Fife ethylene plant in Mossmorran, Scotland, after it was announced that the owners of the plant had agreed a long-term sale and purchase agreement to secure ethane from mid-2017.

Access to this new source of feedstock will help complement supplies from North Sea natural gas fields, the company says. The agreement should also ensure the competitiveness of an additional major manufacturing facility in Scotland and help secure skilled jobs over the long-haul.

As MRC informed earlier, a few day later INEOS confirmed that its vessel, the INEOS Intrepid, has arrived at the INEOS petrochemicals plant at Rafnes in Norway, carrying 27.500m3 of US shale gas ethane.

INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:slanceviy gaz, gas processing, Ineos, UK.
Category:General News
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