Project ONE raises the bar for the chemical industry in Europe
With Project ONE, the port of Antwerp will soon have the most energy-efficient ethylene cracker in the whole of Europe and a world-scale PDH-unit. In this way, INEOS will ensure that it becomes an absolute pioneer in the increasingly sustainable chemical sector.
About Project ONE
- The most important investment in the European chemical industry in 20 years, representing well over 3 billion EUR
- Vital to counter the risk of decline of the European chemical sector
- Strengthens the Port of Antwerp's position as a chemical cluster
- Creating 450 permanent jobs, fivefold in indirect jobs and 3000 jobs during the realization phase
- A new generation of installations in terms of energy efficiency and environmental footprint
Watch the editorial movie broadcasted on Kanaal Z, the Belgian business channel, about Project ONE:
Showreel video upon announcement of Project ONE investment:
A Game Changer for Europe
Project ONE is the most important investment in European petrochemicals in the last 20 years, representing an investment of well over 3 billion EUR. Developing this production site in Antwerp, in compliance with the strict environmental standards that apply here, will increase Europe's competitiveness and, in turn, attract new investments. Project ONE will employ up to 3000 contractors during construction and create as many as 450 permanent jobs in the port. Once operational, five times as many indirect jobs will be generated.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Founder and Chairman of INEOS says: “Our investment in a gas cracker and world-scale PDH unit is the largest of its kind in Europe for more than a generation and is an important development for the European petrochemical industry. We believe this investment will reverse years of decline in the sector.”
Empowering the chemical cluster in Antwerp
With a turnover of 66 billion Euros, the chemical sector is the economic engine of Belgium and accounts for 1/3 of Belgian exports. After Houston, the port of Antwerp today has the most important petrochemical cluster in the world. However, this position is coming under pressure due to the exponential growth in investments in China and the rest of Asia, the Middle East and the US. The decision for INEOS to build Project ONE in Europe is, therefore, a break in the trend and a boost for the port of Antwerp. With its pan-European pipeline connection, deep-sea access and our existing manufacturing footprint, Antwerp is ideally positioned to develop Project ONE.
John McNally, CEO of Project ONE at the announcement of the project: “The selection of Antwerp as a location for these new assets is a significant step forward for the development of this project. This decision builds upon our long-standing relationship with the Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, and the governments of Flanders and Belgium.”
Building blocks for high-value products
Project ONE consists of 2 major installations: an ethane cracker and a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit for the production of ethylene and propylene. These are essential building materials to fabricate important chemicals and polymers amongst other applications in wind turbines (lubricants), solar panels, medication (blood bags, sterile packaging, MRI scans…), building materials (water and gas pipelines that last at least 50 years), textiles, light car parts, etc.
INEOS is the largest producer of ethylene and propylene in Europe, but also the largest purchaser. We are experiencing tightness in the market for both raw materials as demand for them increases. With Project ONE we secure our supplies by starting to produce ethylene and propylene ourselves. This will make us less dependent on other geopolitical regions and enables us to produce ethylene and propylene at a lower footprint in Europe, rather than importing them. The new petrochemical complex will be co-located with INEOS’ existing sites in Europe making polymers and will be connected by pipeline to a number of INEOS ethylene and propylene derivative units in the region.
A new generation of installations: Drawing from technology for more sustainability
Project ONE will be a pioneer in terms of technologies used, environmental impact and efficiency. After all, similar installations in Europe are at least 20 years old. We are going to build the most energy-efficient ethane cracker in Europe and thus set a new standard for the sector. CO2 emissions will be half of the average of similar plants elsewhere in Europe. Co-produced hydrogen in both the ethylene and propylene units will be used as fuel, displacing natural gas. We believe that this investment will eventually have a market-rectifying effect and will push old capacity out of the market, thereby renewing the sector as a whole.
We are going to build for the future. Project ONE will be carbon capture ready when a breakthrough in this technology is achieved. Our design provides space for the construction of a carbon capture plant. INEOS is also a partner in the Antwerp@C project, which is studying the possibilities for carbon capturing, utilization and storage in the port of Antwerp.
Where are we now?
Project ONE is currently in the process of applying for construction permits. The construction of such a megaproject will take four to five years. We aim to be operational with the PDH unit in 2024 and the ethane installation one year later.