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INEOS (UK) shapes green chemical future in Flanders

Long-anticipated, now confirmed: British chemical concern INEOS will start construction of the ethane gas cracker with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe in the summer of 2022. The birthplace of this project? Antwerp! Flanders’ Minister of Environment Zuhal Demir granted the environmental permit, officially paving the way for the largest chemical investment in Europe in two decades.

ONE for all

Achieving a climate-neutral future – it’s a highly ambitious but equally urgent challenge putting the cleantech industry in Flanders to the test. With a name no less promising than its unprecedented advanced technology, chemical giant INEOS’ Project ONE will initiate a giant leap forward to a more sustainable Europe. 

We do not want to stand on the sidelines as an industrial player. With Project ONE, we want to make a fundamental difference now.

Project ONE will house an ethane gas cracker which converts ethane into ethylene, the primary material for an array of products essential to our daily lives. Designed to be one of the most efficient and sustainable chemical sites in the EU, Project ONE can save INEOS customers about 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year by relying on the company’s ethylene instead of that produced in obsolete and more polluting plants. This impact then resonates across a myriad of domains, as INEOS customers are active in a wide range of industries: from construction, automotive and packaging to healthcare and renewable energy, along with many others.

Chemical innovator

INEOS is earmarking an impressive EUR 3 billion for this project, which is by far the highest investment in the EU chemical industry in 20 years. Instead of opting for a large economy as the location for its Project ONE, the British chemical innovator is putting its confidence in Flanders’ compact knowledge and business network. It does so with good reason – and with guidance from Flanders Investment & Trade!

With a dozen production sites and offices already situated in and close to Antwerp, the company’s fondness of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges – which is the 2nd-largest port in the EU – is deepened by Flanders’ strategic location and access to a highly-educated and technically-trained workforce. What’s more, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a popular breeding ground for green, smart and digital innovation initiatives. It is also closely linked to Flanders’ top-notch universities and research centers.

The fact that Antwerp is home to the EU’s largest and the world’s 2nd-largest chemical cluster, must also have fueled the decision. 

Strengthening Flanders’ chemical industry

With Project ONE, INEOS contributes to the modernization of Flanders’ chemical industry by building an ethane gas cracker with the lowest carbon footprint ever seen in the EU. The installation’s footprint is: 

  • 3 times lower than that of the average ethane gas cracker,
  • less than half of that of the 10% best-performing ethane gas crackers. 

These impressive figures will help strengthen the position of the EU’s chemical industry within the global economy. Planned to be operational in 2026, the new chemical site will create 450 direct full-time jobs and thousands of indirect jobs. 

Flanders clearly shows that it is supportive of sustainable investments and economic growth.

John McNally
CEO of INEOS Project ONE

More info

Reported by
press release INEOS
17 June 2022

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