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INEOS Enterprises Announces Plans for Major Investment in New Biodiesel Facility at Port of Antwerp

INEOS Enterprises has today announced details of its proposals for a major investment in a new biodiesel facility at the INEOS site at Zwijndrecht in the Port of Antwerp. The investment, which will be in excess of €90 million, forms part of the Company’s strategy to deliver significant growth and become the premier supplier of biodiesel across Europe. The Company expects the plant to be operational by early 2009.

The new facility, which will have a capacity of at least 500,000 tonnes per annum, intends to use a good proportion of feedstock sourced from Belgian suppliers. It will have the capability of providing secure biodiesel supplies to the entire Belgian biofuels market in addition to supplying further afield across Europe. The facility would also use glycerine as a bi-product of biodiesel production to stimulate the development of glycerine technology at the site. In parallel to this investment by INEOS, a third party investment in a new vegetable oil extraction facility is also being planned in the vicinity, bringing about further synergies, and leading to the creation of a regional ‘bio-hub’. 

Comments INEOS Enterprises CEO Harry Deans: “This represents one of the largest single investments in Belgium in recent years. We expect the project to create a significant number of new jobs at the Antwerp site, whilst supporting indirectly over 600 jobs in the region during construction, therefore making a significant economic contribution to both the local and regional economy.

“The Antwerp site is core to our strategy and will be the centre from where we will lead our growth in biodiesel across the Continent. Our aim is to become the first truly pan European supplier of biodiesel, the first part of which will be to achieve at least 2 million tonnes of biodiesel output by 2012. We will do this by investing in world scale plants such as that proposed for Antwerp, which will use the latest technology to produce high quality products that will be highly competitive in all market conditions.

“Our choice in Antwerp reflects our strategy to invest in new production facilities located at the very heart of key demand centres. The existing INEOS operations within these centres will provide us with cost effective infrastructure, excellent logistics, a ready-made and fully integrated customer base and access to some of Europe’s very best transport networks.” 

Belgium is already home to four very strong INEOS businesses, which between them directly employ some 1,350 people at sites in Zwijndrecht, Lillo, Doel, Geel, Feluy and Neder-Over-Heembeek. The sites also help to secure in excess of 6,000 jobs in ancillary and supporting service industries across the country. 

The INEOS site at Zwijndrecht, Antwerp is operated by INEOS Oxide and is positioned at the heart of Europe’s largest petrochemical centre with close proximity to raw materials via sea, road and rail and to Europe’s prime customer base via pipeline, sea, inland waterway, rail and road transportation networks. The Antwerp site also has its own dedicated jetty, along with a state of the art Cogeneration Unit supplying electricity and steam. The Port is also the main hub of the Western European pipeline network.

Comments Dirk Gekiere, Site Director: “The INEOS operations at Antwerp are vital to the future growth of the Port of Antwerp. We have a very experienced, highly skilled team in Belgium that has an excellent track record of delivering major investments at Antwerp. In recent years INEOS has been involved in more than €650 million worth of investment at the site, and this new investment in biodiesel at Antwerp would provide our sister company INEOS Enterprises with an excellent supply point for Northwest Europe, and with excellent customer/supplier synergies with the adjacent refining operations.”

The INEOS Enterprises investment is receiving strong support in the region, recognising the importance of the project to the future development of the Port of Antwerp. Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority comments: “We greatly appreciate INEOS’ interests in establishing this major biodiesel facility in the Port of Antwerp, thereby taking advantage of the port’s logistical platform and the possible synergies with the existing industry. This investment matches the vision we have on the future of the Antwerp Chemical Cluster and we see this as a very important first step in the development of a bio-based chemical industry in the region.”

INEOS Enterprises has more than 10 years experience in the biodiesel sector. The Company has already successfully secured government support for its existing biodiesel plant at Baleycourt, which is currently undergoing a €70 million expansion to double output by 2008. INEOS Enterprises also recently secured grant funding in the UK from the Scottish Executive towards the cost of a €90 million biodiesel unit, which will be at least 500,000tes, to be built at the INEOS manufacturing site at Grangemouth, Scotland. 

Andy Currie, Director of INEOS Capital and Chairman of INEOS Enterprises comments: “As part of the world’s fastest growing chemicals company, INEOS Enterprises is extremely well placed to make these investments and has an excellent track record of pursuing market opportunities and developing world class businesses. 

“INEOS is well skilled in commissioning and operating low cost, high yield commodity plants and has the size and scale that is essential for success in this business. By building on the ready made synergies with our existing European refining operations, coupled with our existing client base and market contacts, we firmly believe that we have the competitive edge and can develop into Europe’s premier biodiesel company.” 

Concludes Mr Deans: “We firmly believe that the size and scale of our investment, combined with the strengths of INEOS and the excellent strategic location we have at Antwerp site makes INEOS Enterprises the most appropriate candidate for obtaining Belgium quota for biodiesel.

“We very much look forward to working in partnership with the Belgian government and Belgian feedstock suppliers to bring this major investment to fruition.” 

For further information please contact:

Craig Welsh, INEOS Enterprises Press Office
Telephone: 01928 511528
Email: craig.welsh@ineoschlor.com