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INEOS starts constructing EUR 4-billion cracker in Flanders

On 15 December 2022, the first sheet pile was put in place at the site of Project ONE, officially kicking off the construction of INEOS’ innovative ethane cracker at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Flanders. Clocking in at EUR 4 billion, Project ONE is the largest investment in Europe’s chemical industry in the past 25 years. Scheduled to be operational in 2026, the cracker will be the most sustainable of its kind in Europe. Over the next years, construction works will provide employment for hundreds of people, even up to 3,000 at peak times.

From ethane to ethylene

Through Project ONE, British chemical concern INEOS is strengthening its position in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and Flanders’ chemical industry by building a high-tech and sustainable steam cracker that converts ethane to ethylene. Ethylene is one of the most widely used basic chemicals in the world. It’s used for medical applications, lightweight car and wind turbine components, durable water and gas pipes, food packaging, smartphones, textiles with technical properties and more.

INEOS is investing EUR 4 billion in the heart of the European economy to produce one of the most important chemical building blocks in Flanders using the best available technology. We are doing our part to ensure the future of Europe’s industry by innovating and helping to secure the leading position of the Antwerp chemical cluster.

John McNally
CEO Project ONE

Project ONE in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a boost for Flanders. I am delighted that the company has chosen our region to build the cracker with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe, proving that entrepreneurship and sustainability are increasingly going hand in hand. I am also pleased that Flanders is supporting the financing of Project ONE through the Gigarant vehicle.

Jan Jambon
Minister-President of Flanders

Major endeavor

The realization of Project ONE is a major endeavor. The site rivals 128 soccer fields in size. Construction will require the equivalent of 4 Eiffel Towers in terms of steel, over 2,000 km of piping and roughly 8 million working hours. In addition to the actual ethane cracker (a facility covering an area of 75,000 square meters), there will also be an administrative campus with offices, a company restaurant and a gym, bicycle storage, the central control room, workshops, warehouses, storage tanks and so on.

After several years of engineering studies, preparatory work for construction began in the summer of 2022. The next phase will begin in early 2023, when the construction pits will be dug, after which the foundation piles for the cracker can be inserted. INEOS’ own project team consists of about 200 people. On-site, about 60 people are already at work. That will be around 3,000 around the peak of the works.

More info

Reported by
press release INEOS
19 December 2022

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