Project ONE groundbreaking

On 15 December, a symbolic sheet pile went into the ground in the port of Antwerp for Project One, INEOS' innovative ethane cracker. INEOS invests EUR 4 billion in Europe's most sustainable ethane cracker with this project.

Project One represents the largest investment in European chemistry in the past 25 years. Over the next few years, construction of the plant, which will take four years, will employ hundreds of people, up to more than 3,000 at a time at peak. The cracker, which will be the most sustainable of its kind, will be commissioned in 2026.

With Project ONE, INEOS is strengthening its position in the port of Antwerp and the Belgian chemical sector with a high-tech and sustainable steam cracker that converts ethane into ethylene. Ethylene is one of the most widely used basic chemicals in the world has. Its uses include medical applications, lightweight car and wind turbine components, durable water and gas pipes, packaging to preserve food longer, smartphones, textiles with technical properties...


The symbolic sheet piling took place in the presence of Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever, port alderman Annick De Ridder and chairman of Port of Antwerp Bruges, Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp Bruges, as well as Hans Casier and Yves Verschueren, chairman and managing director of essenscia, and John McNally, CEO of INEOS Project ONE. Watch the aftermovie here.

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John Mc Nally, CEO Project ONE:
"Fierce discussions on a new industrial policy are currently raging in Europe. INEOS is leading by example here by investing around €4 billion in the heart of the European economy to produce one of the most widely used chemical building blocks with the best available technology. We are taking up the gauntlet today to ensure the future of Europe's basic industry by innovating and not giving away the leading position of the Antwerp chemical cluster to other regions."

Bart De Wever, mayor of Antwerp:
"I am extremely pleased that INEOS is building Europe's greenest steam cracker in Antwerp. Project ONE shows that economic growth can go hand in hand with environmental and energy efficiency gains. These strengthen our European industry and keep it competitive. Our city, Flanders and Europe will therefore benefit from this investment. It will make our port more resilient and sustainable. Antwerp has the largest maritime-industrial complex in the world. That is something to be proud of. I would like to thank INEOS for helping to ensure our economic future. "

Hans Casier, Chairman essenscia and CEO INEOS Phenol and Nitriles:
"Of course the chemical industry has to become more sustainable and we are doing that. Without chemistry, the transformation to sustainability is not going to succeed. It is basic chemistry that makes the production of solar panels possible. It is chemistry that makes materials lighter, it is this sector that brings a circular economy within reach with industrial-scale recycling processes. With Project One, INEOS will make a major contribution to this by producing ethylene with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe."

Jan Jambon, Minister-President of Flanders:
"The investment realised by INEOS with Project ONE in the port of Antwerp is a boost for Flanders. Especially at a time when heavy industry is struggling in Europe. I am particularly delighted that the company has chosen Flanders to build the cracker with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe. A paragon of green transition and proof that entrepreneurship and sustainability increasingly go hand in hand. I am also pleased that Flanders is helping to support the financing of Project ONE with the Gigarant guarantee."

Annick De Ridder, Chairwoman of the Port of Antwerp Bruges:
"The very first activities of INEOS were started here in the Port of Antwerp. We not only share a rich history, but are also building an economically strong and sustainable future together. Project ONE is the largest investment in European chemistry in more than 20 years, good for hundreds of direct jobs. People from Antwerp and Flanders  cannot be proud enough of that! Project ONE once again underlines the strength of our port as the economic engine of Flanders."

Ronny Bertels, general manager and director at Mourik:
"This is a very special project for both Aertssen Infra and ourselves, and immediately the largest industrial project we have ever realised, involving all the disciplines at our disposal. On this site, the law of large numbers comes into play: we are talking about 4 km of sheet piling, 26 km of drainage, 260 pumps, 300,000 tonnes of earthmoving, a water treatment plant that can handle 75 m³ per hour. That is unprecedented."

Gert Mennes, Business Unit Manager Aertssen Infra Domestic :
"Sheet piles are often 'hammered' into the ground, which causes a lot of noise and vibrations. INEOS opted for an alternative method where the steel sheets are 'pushed' in, avoiding noise pollution. The sheet piling is needed to isolate the groundwater from the surrounding industrial sites. Compare it to a giant bathtub. Within that bathtub, we can very purposefully lower the water level on our own site locally to allow construction activities to continue smoothly, without affecting groundwater levels on neighbouring sites."

Project ONE

Project ONE

Project ONE is the largest and most substantial investment in the European chemical sector in the past 20 years. When this project Is completed, Antwerp will have the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly ethylene installation in all of Europe. INEOS is making over €4 billion available for the realization of Project ONE.

Read more about Project ONE and the sheet piling on