Inch Magazine

Issue Article
  • World leaders

    IN today’s increasingly dynamic and changing world, there is no substitute for innovation. It is the key to driving economic growth, the insurance against irrelevance and unlocks the door to real progress. As the pressure on resources grows, applications become more demanding and sustainability becomes more than just a buzzword, the need for innovation has never been greater. INEOS Styrolution understands that. As such, it focuses on the customer – and what the customer wants. But it does not work on its innovative R&D activities alone. It has set up a global innovation network with organisations such as the Washington State University, Fraunhofer LBF Darmstadt, Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH and the University of Bayreuth to deliver best-inclass solutions to customers to give them a competitive edge in their respective markets. For almost four years, it has been working closely with Germany’s Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH, a strong R&D site in material science, and the University of Bayreuth. The university carries out the basic research, NMB explores the innovative production processes and INEOS Styrolution, which steers the entire research process, is ultimately responsible for the production and launch of any innovative solutions. “It’s a fantastic and unique partnership,” said Dr Norbert Niessner, Global Head of Research and Development at INEOS Styrolution. “We not only have a lot of ideas but, together with our innovation partners, we also have the resources to execute them.” The beneficiary of the set-up is the customer. “Typically, if you work in R&D, the perception is that you are working in an ivory tower, but that is not the case here,” he said. “We include the Bayreuth researchers as if they were our own people. They are exposed to real customers’ challenges and that’s what makes this collaboration so outstanding. It’s the will and the brains working together to find a solution.” The end result, as far as INEOS Styrolution believes, though, is the same: keeping the customer one step ahead of the pack is the most important thing. “We are committed to giving our customers a competitive edge in their markets,” said CEO Kevin McQuade. “If we want to find the best solution for them, we need to work hand in glove with them. The innovation network is a win-win for everybody. Customers get access to the best solutions and access to resources. The partners are also happy because they are carrying out research for a real-life purpose.” The automotive industry is one where INEOS Styrolution focuses heavily. Earlier this year it, together with NMB, unveiled a brand new solution, which offers a lot of opportunities for the automotive industry. StyLight, as it is known, is a composite based on the company’s styrenic materials, and it is currently being evaluated by several car manufacturers. “We are expecting the first orders soon,” said Norbert. The automotive industry, though, is not the only one to benefit from the wisdom and brainpower of INEOS’ academic partners and the expertise and drive of the INEOS Styrolution team. Together they recently started working on a project that aims at developing innovative solutions for the recycling of polystyrene. “Sustainable plastics is a mega topic these days,” said Norbert. “So we want to make this happen. It may take a few years, but we are quite confident we will be able to do it.” What sets INEOS Styrolution apart is the importance it places on developing solutions, not just for its customers to stay one step ahead of the competition, but for the benefit of society. “I think only those companies which provide true value to the customers, and here I include sustainability aspects such as saving greenhouse gases and resources, will retain their market position,” said Norbert. It is not only INEOS Styrolution that is impressed with the partnerships it has forged over the years. “The collaboration provides application-focused research fields, which are attractive to our students and researchers,” said Prof Dr Hans-Werner Schmidt, Department of Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Bayreuth. By working together on innovative ideas for INEOS Styrolution’s customers in the automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare and packaging industries, they believe they can create the styrenics of tomorrow. “That customer-orientated innovation is at the core of our growth strategy,” said Kevin. The company regularly hosts innovation days when customers can give them a shopping list of what they are looking for over the next three to five years. In short, INEOS Styrolution works hard to understand what customers want to give them a competitive advantage. Everything it does is geared towards fulfilling its socalled Triple Shift strategy, three areas which it has identified as key to help profitably grow the business. Firstly, teams, each with an in-depth knowledge of their customers’ specific industry, work closely with their customers to deliver best in class solution, be they in the automotive or any other focus industry. Secondly, it focuses on producing more, higher value, styrenic specialty products. And finally, it continually expands its business in areas deemed ripe for growth, such as Asia. And it is on track to do that. Earlier this year it completed its first acquisition. Buying the global K-Resin® styrene-butadiene copolymers (SBC) business, with a manufacturing site in Korea, helped to expand INEOS Styrolution’s position in the Asian growth market and cement its position as the only styrenics manufacturer with a true global footprint. “We already had SBC production sites in the Americas and Europe, but we were missing a SBC manufacturing plant in Asia-Pacific,” said Kevin. “K-Resin is now filling that formerly white spot for our SBC specialty business on our map.” The company now employs 3,200 people and has 16 production plants and six R&D sites in nine countries. Looking to the future, Kevin remains optimistic and excited. “In the early days of the Joint Venture between BASF and INEOS, we focused on synergies,” he said. “Now that we have the right structure in place, we are looking at accelerated growth. We have a truly global presence that gives us a local insight into what’s going on in the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These are exciting times.”

    7 minutes read Issue 13
  • Energised – and up for the challenge

    NOW is not the time to be living on another planet. Real focus on new ways of working is needed if energy-hungry companies like INEOS are to have a future in a world that is rapidly changing. For it is not just the climate, which is changing, so too is the resolve of those in power in the European Union to cut emissions and reduce energy consumption in its transition to a lower carbon economy. America may have won a temporary reprieve – thanks to US President Donald Trump – but the EU wants a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases, a cap on energy use in industry and at least 27% more renewable sources used in its energy mix by the year 2030. “We are literally drowning in targets,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS Manager of Cleantech Initiatives. “And because of that, the chemical industry’s competitiveness in Europe is at stake.” But that’s where the pessimism ends. The European Union has set aside tens of billions to support innovation in industry while trying to meet those targets – and Greet believes if anyone can find answers to some of society’s great challenges, INEOS can. “We are good at finding opportunities in every challenge,” said Greet. “And the European Union knows that by offering incentives and partnering with industry, they may stand a chance of meeting the grand societal challenges.” Outside Europe too, the opportunities are growing for INEOS to fund new projects at its sites thanks to support schemes, tax exemptions and grants for innovation and investment. “There is money to be had for supporting a lower carbon economy,” she said. Greet heads up INEOS’ Carbon & Energy Network, which regularly shares information and best practices on all carbon and energy related matters with all INEOS’ businesses. “The network keeps a finger on the pulse on all that happens at policy level and has an impact on INEOS,” she said. “That’s why it is also a breeding ground for novel creative initiatives to tackle the grand challenges, engage with universities and embark on industrial research projects.” Greet said creativity had to be at the forefront of the transition economy. “Innovation is INEOS’ main driver,” she said. Indeed what INEOS has become good at is securing EU funds for projects that will not only benefit the company but also society. “It is about seeing and seizing every opportunity,” said Greet. “As much as it is a grand challenge, it is also a huge opportunity for us to collaborate with universities and students.” And that is what INEOS is now doing. Earlier this year six graduates were given the chance to look at how INEOS operates now – and suggest how it could operate in a radically different future. “The PhD students will bring real value to INEOS in areas where we don’t usually go because of a lack of time and resources,” said Greet. The graduates will be focusing on six areas that present big challenges to INEOS, including energy efficiency, electrical flexibility, carbon capture, circular resources, and industrial symbiosis. “We trust they will be able to show INEOS how to use, reuse and recycle carbon and waste sources in a way that we can benefit from it,” said Greet. “They are likely to have new ideas about the future because they are the future. Sometimes those ideas might be a bit on the wild side but that is what is needed. This is a unique opportunity for them to be seen and heard and taken seriously. They are showing us the road ahead.” Graduates awarded their tasks VALUABLE research is now being carried out at several plants in INEOS. The PhD students or INEOS graduates will be asking potentially difficult questions and challenging processes in an effort to come up with new ways of working more efficiently with fewer resources. Sander Marchal, a commercial graduate based in Koln, will be focusing on the transition to a circular economy. Part of his brief will be to look at plastic packaging which the EU wants to see a 75% reduction by 2030. "We are a plastics producer,” he said. “But being part of the solution is better than being left out of the conversation.” Benedikt Beisheim, an Energy Optimiser at INEOS Koln, is hoping to find ways to improve the processes at the mature German plant to either save energy or raw materials. He will also focus on the nearby energy park to see how off gases and natural gases can be used more efficiently to produce steam and electricity. Cindy Jaquet has been working with the Carbon & Energy Network in Rolle, Switzerland. Her role has been to spread the word about sustainable practices and prove to others that sustainability is not impossible. “I needed to show the public, our partners, our customers and our competitors that sustainability can actually be a real business opportunity,” she said. Jens Baetens is also a PhD student. His project will hopefully help INEOS to find a solution to maintaining a reliable energy supply when wind and solar power start to replace gas and electricity. His focus will be on the 10 INEOS sites in Belgium. “We will be trying to understand the power demand at our sites and what resilience we can build in,” he said. Helene Cervo is a PhD student who is hoping to apply the lessons of nature to a project at INEOS’ site in Lavera in France. “All waste produced by one organism can be used by another,” she says. “There is no waste.” She will be looking at collaborating with other businesses on the site to see how energy, materials and services can be shared more efficiently. And finally, Gabby Isidro, will be hoping to help governments understand the consequences of their regulation, which govern CO2 emissions, on European competitiveness by showing them the overall cost and impact. “Knowing in detail what our position is today and into the future helps us to make sound, longterm business decisions and influence investment strategy,” she said

    5 minutes read Issue 13
  • There’s no stopping us now

    IF you are looking for runaway success stories, look no further than the faces of these children who are the latest kids to be inspired to run for fun by INEOS. They covered the 2km distance – and had a wonderful time – at London’s iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in June. Among those championing INEOS’ campaign on the day were Olympians Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson. “GO Run For Fun has come such a long way since September 2013,” said Colin. “The campaign has reached an amazing milestone with over 200,000 children from seven countries taking part.” INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe founded GO Run For Fun with one simple aim: to encourage children to give the TV a rest, and go outside. Denise Lewis, who hosted a panel discussion on the importance of encouraging children to be more active and the role played by parents, teachers and government, described GO Run For Fun as a wonderful, fun initiative. “I have been involved in sport all my life but I got into it because it was fun,” she said. “INEOS is doing a fantastic job.” Schools report healthy start to INEOS' pilot project INEOS’ campaign to breed a healthier generation has been making friends in the classroom. In February, 65 primary schools in the UK were chosen to take part in a pilot project. “We wanted to create something fun for the kids with a serious message,” said John Mayock. The results of the pilot project are now in and the feedback from pupils and teachers has been incredibly positive. “It has been really encouraging,” said John. “We are now analysing the results to determine the next steps to roll out this exciting programme to other international sites.” As part of the GO Run For Fun Education Programme project, two children from each of the 65 schools were chosen as Special Agents to encourage their 19,500 classmates to eat healthier foods and lead more active lives. The ‘agents’ were tasked with guiding their friends on different missions each week in the run-up to a 2km GO Run For Fun event. “The idea was to show children the real benefits of leading a healthy and active lifestyle,” said John. Part of the message was to encourage kids to give sugar a run for its money – and start drinking more water. Missions could be completed at break time, during lunch or in the classroom. “That was important because it gives teachers flexibility,” said John. INEOS decided to launch its health and wellbeing educational programme after it was often asked by schools, which were planning to take part in a GO Run For Fun event, for advice on improving fitness and healthy eating. INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe initially commissioned 12 short films, featuring the GO Run For Fun mascot Dart. Since then it has been reaching out to teachers to continue the good work back in the classroom, long after the race is over. “GO Run For Fun has become so much more than just a fun run now,” said John.  

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • Debate: How do we encourage children to give up sugary foods?

    WE can see more and more initiatives being taken to encourage children to also eat more healthily. Schools are gradually taking their responsibility and the big retailers launch some initiatives as well (extra bonus points on the loyalty scheme when you buy vegetables & fruits). There again, the gamification aspect motivates children and parents to make the right choices. On our side, we make sure to partner up with ‘healthy alternatives’ for mass sports events where we have eg kids runs. They are good signs, but all in all it’s much more difficult to intervene in this area of healthy living. It needs a mind-shift with the parents first, and that is still very problematic today, as obesity numbers have never been higher. Jeroen Plasman, The Energy Lab WHILST the evidence about obesity and sugar is exceedingly complex, the facts about the impact of sugar on teeth are not. The science is irrefutable: sugar feeds bacteria, which produce acid that attacks teeth. And tooth decay is currently the leading cause of hospital admissions among young children in Britain. We’ve been leading urgent calls for action to lower the nation’s sugar intake, highlighting measures ranging from lowering the recommended daily allowance, through to action on marketing, labelling and sales taxes. Starting the conversation can go a long way to helping highlight the amounts of sugars in popular foods, including those marketed as ‘healthy’, and encouraging better oral health for everyone. Graham Stokes, Chairman, British Dental Association Health and Science Committee WHEN Theresa May first became prime minister, she pledged that she would look after the sick and poor, and yet within three weeks her previous adviser Nick Timothy had slashed David Cameron’s evidence-based obesity plan from 37 to 13 pages, cutting out many vital policies. I was therefore astonished to hear that following the PM’s stripped-down Queen’s speech, not a single mention was given to strengthening the government’s plan to curb childhood obesity – the biggest public health crisis that we face. Public health is hugely underfunded, considering its cost-effectiveness. It’s amazing that Theresa May can find a billion pounds to form a government but can’t find a million pounds to prevent millions of UK citizens from becoming obese or developing type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Graham MacGregor, Professor of cardiovascular medicine, Queen Mary University of London Nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diet comes from soft drinks and children aged 11-18 get 40% of their added sugars from soft drinks. We have been campaigning for a sugar tax on soft drinks for many years, as we believe there are clear oral health benefits of such a tax. We welcomed the Government’s announcement of a levy on sugary soft drinks from 2018, but are calling for measures to go further to cover a wider range of sugary food and drinks, and for proceeds of the sugar levy to go towards funding children’s oral health initiatives. British Dental Association EVIDENCE shows that slowly changing the balance of ingredients in everyday products, or making changes to product size, is a successful way of improving diets. This is because the changes are universal and do not rely on individual behaviour change. A broad, structured sugar reduction programme is being led by us to remove sugar from the products children eat most. All sectors of the food and drinks industry will be challenged to reduce overall sugar, across a range of products that contribute to children’s sugar intakes, by at least 20% by 2020. Public Health England TRYING to cut down on sugar often seems like an impossible task as sugar appears to be hidden in a huge variety of products. However, there are still lots of little things that can be done to reduce our daily intake of sugar. It is important to try and make small adjustments to our diet and lifestyle in order to reduce the amount of sugar that we consume each day. It is interesting to see that in fact it does not take a long time for our taste buds to readjust to foods with less sugar, and that once they have, the foods that we used to eat appear far too sweet. Action on Sugar WE have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay. Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. Dr Francesco Branca, Director of World Health Organization’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • INEOS' tour de force

    INEOS likes to challenge its workforce to go that extra mile for themselves and others. And this year is no exception. But even INEOS was taken aback at the speed of the response from staff all over the world to its latest call to action. Just a week before the start of this year’s Tour de France, teams of up to 20 were invited to complete each stage of the world’s most famous cycle race as part of INEOS’ first-ever Tour de France Challenge. “We weren’t expecting to have more than 15 teams,” said Fred Michel, who came up with the concept with Jeroen Plasman and Richard Longden. But within a week 1,000 riders from more than 40 teams had ridden more than 300,000 km – the equivalent of cycling around the Earth over seven times. As the real riders had chased each other through the French countryside for the coveted title, INEOS’ teams had been squeezing in their mileage – before, during or after work. The only criteria had been that each team member would decide how far to cycle each day. “One of our objectives was simply to get people moving more than they usually would,” said Fred who received emails from staff thanking him for running the event. “They didn’t normally cycle to work but because of the challenge, they had decided to get on their bikes and had enjoyed it,” he said. “Others had encouraged their whole family to cycle at the weekends and again that was something they would never have done.” About 15 million spectators had lined the route of this year’s Tour de France as the riders headed for Paris and the final sprint down the Champs-Élysées. INEOS’ teams did not see many others, except for their teammates, even in the closing stages. By the time they had finished, they had collectively burned almost two million calories. But to appeal to INEOS’ competitive spirit, there were prizes. The Antwerp-5 were named as the team which covered the biggest distance. They covered 17,481km. “What’s amazing about Le Tour de France is that you see how people can surpass themselves and how important it is to be part of a team because they really help each other to be stronger,” said Fred Michel, who came up with the concept with Jeroen Plasman and Richard Longden. “To us, that’s the INEOS philosophy.” INEOS’ coveted yellow jersey was won by Stéphane Frigiolini, 31, from Tavaux. He completed the entire distance of 3,540 km, on his own, in 23 days. The pink jersey went to Jane Kinsella as the woman who completed the furthest distance. She rode a total of 1,275km. Her colleague Christina Schulte won a pink jersey too for cycling uphill the furthest, climbing 1,365 metres. The white jersey was won by Stef Raets who was named as the under 25-year-old who cycled the furthest, clocking up 804km. The King of the Mountain’s jersey, which was reserved for the man who made it harder for himself by riding the furthest uphill, was awarded to Matthew Rimmer. He climbed 2,953 metres. And the Grangemouth-3 won the halfway team sprint. But perhaps the real winners in INEOS’ challenge were those in need. At the start INEOS had promised to donate £1,000 to every team, which covered the distance over 21 days, to a charity of their choosing. When the challenge ended, 1,037 people in 41 teams had cycled 324,393 km – and wheeled in £40,049 for charity.

    3 minutes read Issue 13
  • Action Stations

    SOMEONE once said that exercise not only changes the body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood. It doesn’t matter who that someone was. But someone who understands that mindset is John Mayock, a former Olympic athlete who has now helped to launch Energy Station, INEOS’ online fitness hub. John very quickly learned that health and well-being were at the core of INEOS’ ethos to being better, and staying sharper, than their rivals after he joined the company about a year ago. “I knew INEOS was passionate about improving children’s health through my work for INEOS on Go Run For Fun and The Daily Mile,” he said. “But that passion clearly didn’t end there.” INEOS has always believed that a healthy lifestyle is good for the mind, body and soul of all its employees – and does what it can to make that journey easier. One only has to look at INEOS’ new headquarters in London which boasts one of the biggest private gyms in the UK, and its new three-storey office block in, Germany, which also has an on-site gym. “As far as INEOS is concerned, being fit to work isn’t simply about being safe,” said John. “It’s about being healthy, energetic, giving our best, and enjoying our working time.” As a man once driven by the desire to improve his own performance on the track, he has now set himself another target. “We’re on a mission to help our 17,000 worldwide employees improve their health and wellbeing, whatever their role, goals or fitness levels,” he said. And the starting gun for that is the Energy Station, created by John and Golazo, a company founded by former Belgian long-distance runner Bob Verbeeck who believes that sports participation leads to a better world. Once Energy Station has been rolled out across the INEOS group, it will become the place for employees to find out about forthcoming runs, rides and triathlons and what their colleagues have been up to all over the world. Staff at every INEOS site will be able to log their performances, connect with others, share their adventures and challenge others and themselves to do better. It will also provide help and expertise on training and nutrition – whether someone just wants to walk more each week or train for a marathon. “This is for everyone,” said John. “There’s nothing elitist about it.” INEOS has also teamed up with well-known sporting brands to provide discounted fitness gear, which, in turn, will earn money for INEOS’ community fitness initiatives. “We want to bring together the existing initiatives operating throughout INEOS and inspire the growth of new ones,” said John.  

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • Graduates sign up for heat of the battle

    PREPARATIONS for next year’s IN NAM challenge are already underway. As INCH went to press, 24 graduates had signed up. “Everyone is eligible,” said project leader John Mayock. “No one is excluded. In all 48 graduates have the opportunity to go, but 30 will be realistic.” He described the response so far as excellent, especially from graduates in the US. Jennifer Niblo, a 24-year-old Process Technical Support Engineer based at Grangemouth in Scotland, is going back to Namibia. But this time she will be an ambassador. Her role will be to advise, inspire and train alongside the next group. “My job is to encourage them to make the most of this life-changing experience and remind them that all the hard work in training does pay off,” she said. The experience was so life-changing for Jennifer that she hopes more graduates will sign up and discover that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. “I cannot wait to go back,” she said. “It was an amazing opportunity to challenge what you think you are capable of and pushing through the limits, in a country with amazing landscape, scenery and wildlife.” Jennifer returned to the UK, feeling fitter and healthier. “This time last year I couldn’t run the length of myself but now if I’ve had a tough day at work, heading out for a run is a great way to clear my head, and generally makes me feel a lot better, happier, energised. I also now realise that tough problems at work don’t always have an obvious answer. You have to stick at it and work through bit by bit to get to the end.”

    2 minutes read Issue 13
  • Out of Africa – and fit for everything

    IT was a short, sharp lesson for a privileged few in perhaps what really matters in life. Air. Food. Water. And shelter. Those, argued American psychologist Abraham Maslow, are every human’s basic needs. Once we have those, that’s when we want more. In today’s modern world we have – and demand – a whole lot more. Everything we need is within our grasp. We can order our groceries at the gym, send a text message to someone on the other side of the world and turn the heating off from the pub, if we want. So what happens when those ‘necessities’ vanish overnight? Twenty nine graduates from INEOS found out for themselves when they signed up for a 350km run, ride and hike across the unforgiving and scorching African desert in one of the rarest and toughest team-building challenges ever set by a company. Very quickly they learned that morale boosts did not come from bonuses. They came from glimpses of a rare black Rhino, a cooling breeze, the stunning view of sunrise from the summit of the Brandberg, the highest peak in Namibia, or the sight of base camp after a long and tiring day in the desert. The graduates worked well as a team, supporting each other as they scrambled over the challenging and rough terrain. “Sometimes we were pushing each other up rocks and other times we were pulling each other up,” said Gabby Isidro, a 26-year-old Energy and CO2 Trader based at INEOS’ Hans Crescent office in London. For INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, it was mission accomplished. He had told INCH shortly before they left for Namibia: ‘It’s remarkable what people can do and accomplish when they turn the brakes off in their heads.” That’s certainly how Gabby feels today. “I don’t think you truly realise your physical and psychological strength until you are pushed to your limits,” she said. Gabby readily admits she was one of the least likely people to have volunteered for the six-day adventure into the unknown. She wasn’t overly sporty and her mum Julia wasn’t keen on the idea of her daughter running, hiking and cycling in the blistering heat through the untouched Namibian desert. “I was overweight and unfit and my mum was concerned about my right wrist which is part metal, part plastic,” she said. “I’d had five operations between the ages of 18 and 22 and she was worried that all of that reconstructive work could be undone.” But the criteria for joining was simple – If you feel you can do it, you’re in – and Gabby felt she could do it. She also suspected, remembering with a smile, that being half Portuguese might give her an advantage in the searing heat over some of the more fair-skinned graduates. “I was determined to do it,” she said. “I wanted to get healthy and fit. I knew for the bike ride I would need to wear titanium casing and a compression sock but it just showed there is always a way round things.” The training beforehand was intense but invaluable. “I travel every week and have a lot of responsibility which I love but I remember being in Norway, Belgium and Switzerland in the dead of winter over January and trying to fit in my training. I very quickly, though, got better at managing my time and I got used to taking my gym equipment everywhere I went.” In May, she and her 28 INEOS colleagues from around the world boarded a plane for Windhoek, which is possibly the world’s smallest international airport. Kasper Hawinkel, a Production Engineer from INEOS Oxide in Belgium, remembers the journey well. “I remember having some doubts about my ability to complete the whole event,” he said. “I didn’t think it was possible to cycle 190km and run two half-marathons and a marathon in one week. I was wrong.” Gabby was also quite nervous but before she could really focus on the challenge ahead, she was fielding calls from potential suppliers who were bidding for an INEOS power contract. “At home I am never without my phone but out there there’s nothing. No phones, no emails, no computers,” she said. “I thought I might struggle with that but it was a real pleasure to be able to fully switch off from work and the outside world in general.” Each graduate had been given a luggage allowance of 15kg. Aside from the essentials – different shoes for running, cycling and hiking – Gabby packed some make-up. The hair straighteners were left at home. Every day presented fresh challenges. But every day the graduates faced them head-on – and as team. “You just take every day as it comes,” said Gabby. “In some ways you cannot plan for it. You are stuck in the desert, you have no choice, and you have to get from A to B so there is no point in moaning.” But there was also a real sense of pride – and a sense that they were all in it together. “That certainly kept me going,” said Kasper. “I was confronted with multiple difficult moments both mentally and physically, but I didn’t want to give up and let down the team.” Jill Dolan from INEOS’ HR department had sent the graduates a good luck message on behalf of the In Nam’17 project team before they left. “Challenges bring out the best in people as they prove you can do things you may not have thought you could do,” she said. “Those graduates will also have made friends for life built on a mutual journey of individual and team challenge and achievement.” Kasper and Gabby said life-long friendships were formed. “All of us have shared this unforgettable experience,” he said. The graduates had been warned about the heat. “When you look back it is terrifying,” said Gabby. “But at the time you just get on with the job in hand. There was an absolute determination to get through each day.” The wind was also a constant companion, sometimes unbearably so. “One day the wind was so strong that it took us almost three hours to cycle 10km (6 miles) in the 47 degree heat,” she said. “It was relentless.” Nearly half of her colleagues that day ended up being treated for dehydration. Gabby kept going – only to fall off her bike 3km from base camp. “At first I thought I must have fractured my skull because I couldn’t see properly because of all the blood,” she said. “But it turned out that even though I has split my head open, I had just dented my forehead.” The experience has changed her – not least because she now bears a small scar on her forehead. “It has helped me to find perspective and cope better in difficult or tense situations,” she said. “If ever I feel overwhelmed at work I can simply reflect on any moment of the Namibia challenge and remember that we got through it.” She is also determined to remain fit – no matter how busy she is. “I now realise that being healthy, fit and in the best physiological condition, I will be able to manage anything that is thrown my way,” she said. Phill Steffny, a safari guide from Cape Town, was one of the guides on the trip. “It’s a mind-blowing, life-changing experience,” he said. “And everyone has changed.” He said the drive and determination shown by the graduates had been inspirational. “These types of people work for INEOS,” he said. “It is in their DNA.” Phill will be among the guides leading next year’s graduates into the desert. “I think everyone can do amazing things,” he said. “You may not have a clue how to do it. But if you are given the opportunity, I cannot understand why anyone would not want to do it.” He added: “If you are on your own out there, it’s different. But they were a team. Everyone was in the same boat. One day one person might feel good, then lousy the next. It’s like life. It’s the same.”  

    3 minutes read Issue 13
  • INEOS’ vision paves way for fresh opportunities in Europe

    INEOS’ ground-breaking decision to ship shale gas from America has paved the way for new investments on European soil. These competitively priced raw materials will now be used in plans to expand production of ethylene and propylene for INEOS’ businesses in Europe. Output from the new production will be used to feed INEOS’ derivative businesses, replacing ethylene and propylene currently purchased from other companies. In all, nearly 2 billion Euro will be spent on major new petrochemical projects in Europe, with Belgium, Norway and Scotland all likely locations for significant investments. “Without access to cost advantaged raw materials these investments could not be possible,” said Gerd Franken, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers North. Work on expanding the crackers at Rafnes, Norway, and Grangemouth, Scotland, is expected to start in 2019 and, once built, could add up to 900kt to INEOS’ overall of ethylene production capacity. In addition to the investments in ethylene, INEOS is also planning a new production facility to produce 750kt of propylene, with Antwerp in Belgium one of the possible locations. “The use of competitive raw materials to increase the self-sufficiency of our European businesses will support our position in Europe and help to protect our businesses against pressure from imported products,” said Gerd. “This will become increasingly important as significant new capacities come on-line in the US over the coming years.” The decision to expand capacity at Grangemouth is especially good news for the staff who, in 2013, had faced the prospect of the ethylene plant shutting due to dwindling North Sea gases. “That was our only feedstock and we were running out of it,” said John McNally, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK. “At times the plant was running at 50% capacity.” INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe said that these would be the first substantial investments in the European petrochemicals industry in many years. “Collectively, these investments are the equivalent of building a new world-scale cracker in Europe,” he said. Pete Williams, Head of Investor Relations, said the investments, which could create up to 100 jobs in total, showed that INEOS was committed to maintaining a competitive manufacturing base in Europe. INEOS currently produces almost 4.5 million tonnes of ethylene and propylene – the key building blocks for many petrochemicals – but still remains the largest buyer of both in the region.

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • Drive to find manufacturing base

    INEOS has begun its search for a site to build what it believes will be the world’s best 4x4. Britain is the favoured location but it has received a number of attractive offers from the UK’s European neighbours. “Whilst we would love this to be a British vehicle, this is a business venture and our hearts cannot be allowed to rule our heads,” said Tom Crotty, INEOS Director of Corporate Affairs. INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, who was born in the North of England, has voiced concern over the years about the slow death of manufacturing in the UK – and the need to reverse it. But only time will tell whether the UK proves to be the best place for INEOS Automotive to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in producing its Grenadier. Jim spotted a gap in the 4x4 market early last year when Jaguar Land Rover ceased production of its iconic Defender at its Solihull plant in the West Midlands. In an interview with INCH magazine last year, he said that INEOS’ Grenadier had been inspired by the Defender but it would not be a replica. “It might share its spirit,” he said. “But it will be a major improvement on previous models.” Dirk Heilmann, CEO of INEOS Automotive, said the search for a production site was the latest step in a fantastically exciting project. “Our plans for the vehicle are well advanced and the time has come to decide where we are going to build it,” he said. INEOS needs a site capable of producing at least 25,000 cars a year to an extremely high standard. Green field sites, former car plants and even existing production lines, which can be re-configured for the new vehicle, will all be considered. “We’ve already had high level discussions with the UK government as well as a lot of international interest,” said Tom. INEOS says its new 4x4 will be aimed at farmers, forestry workers, explorers and adventurers and enthusiasts. “It needs to be an uncompromising offroader that not only stands for adventure, but is also capable of being used as a workhorse,” said Jim. INEOS is determined that its new vehicle will offer a real and pure alternative to the current crop of standardised ‘jelly-mould’ SUV’s.

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • INEOS continues to impress markets with strong performance

    INEOS’ performance slowed down slightly after a record start to the year. In the first quarter the Group had reported earnings (EBITDA) of €753 million – up €199 million on the same time last year. But the second quarter, though down by €115 million on the first, was still impressive at €638 million compared to €570 million this time last year. Finance Director John Reece said the North American market had continued to benefit from its flexibility to be able to use cheaper raw materials and Europe was faring well thanks to the continued weakness of the Euro. He said markets in Asia had also seen some strength in the quarter. O&P North America reported EBITDA of €227 million compared to €225 million this time last year. “The US cracker business environment was solid with healthy margins and high operating rates throughout the quarter,” said John. Polymer demand was strong, particularly in certain product sectors such as pipe and injection moulding grades. O&P Europe reported EBITDA of €210 million – up €20 million on this time last year. “Demand for olefins has been solid in a tight market with top of cycle margins,” said John. Butadiene prices have now declined from their elevated level in the first quarter of the year. European polymer demand was good in a balanced market, with solid volumes and healthy margins in the quarter. Chemical Intermediates reported EBITDA of €201 million compared to €155 million this time last year. “The improved performance across all of the businesses continued in the quarter, with sustained good demand for products together with tight supply side conditions as a result of planned and unplanned competitor outages,” said John. The overall demand trend in the Oligomers business was strong in most product sectors and markets. Demand for the Oxide business was stable, with particular strength in ethyl acetate and butanol. Market conditions for the Nitriles business were healthy due to a combination of strong underlying demand, especially in acrylic fibre, and supply limitations due to a number of industry outages. Phenol markets remained balanced, with some weakness in Europe due to customer turnarounds. John said the Group had also continued to focus on cash management and liquidity, reducing its net debt by €500 million in just three months. At the end of June net debt stood at about €5.2 billion.

    4 minutes read Issue 13
  • INEOS staff make a move – to a new office

    ABOUT 400 INEOS employees in Köln, Germany, will soon be on the move. INEOS has invested about 30 million Euros in a new, three-storey office block – modelled on the ‘O’ in INEOS – to bring all the administrative staff together for the first time. “We see this investment as a clear sign for our future and also a reflection of how important this site is to the INEOS group,” said Dr Patrick Giefers, Commercial Managing Director and Works Manager. It is an open-plan office, which is a relatively new concept in Germany. “This is not just a new building,” said Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Head of Communications at INEOS in Köln. “This is about a new style of working, communicating and spending your day at work. At the moment if I did close my office door, no one would know I was in here.” That will change when the staff move from their individual offices to the new one. “It might take a little getting used to but it will be so much better,” said Anne-Gret. Staff will be able to see each other in the glass-fronted offices. INEOS, though, has not just invested heavily in the new building. Money has also been spent working out where everyone should sit so that the new departments not only work well together, but people are happy – and different styles of desks were tested by staff before they were bought. “Those things matter a great deal,” said Anne-Gret. “The way it has been organised means that staff can now choose to work at their desks, in the coffee bar, in the cafeteria or in what INEOS has called ‘communication zones’.” Staff will also find a modern cafeteria run by a qualified nutritionist who, if asked, will advise people on what to eat, and an in-house gym where they can keep fit, if they want. At the topping out ceremony last month, Hermann Gröhe, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, praised INEOS for its clear commitment to looking after the health and well-being of its staff. It is not yet known what will happen to the empty offices. The new office block, though, is just part of a 211-million Euro investment package for the site where a new tanker bridge, power plant and supply tunnel, between the west and east works, will be built. 

    2 minutes read Issue 13
  • INEOS awaits verdict on shale gas core wells

    INEOS Shale’s quest to unearth shale gas in the UK continues. It has now submitted two planning applications to drill vertical core wells near Sheffield so it can analyse samples of the rock. Operations Director Tom Pickering remains confident that the first well could be drilled by early next year and believes the public’s appetite for shale gas exploration is growing. “Landowners are naturally worried about protesters but it is a different backdrop today,” he said. “There has been a huge shift from three and a half years ago when we first set out on this road. The mood has changed. Brexit has really concentrated the mind. People now see that we do need to be thinking about the UK’s energy security.” The cost of drilling each well could be up to £12 million. INEOS Shale now owns the rights to explore 1.2 million acres of land in the UK for shale gas. In January this year INEOS increased its acreage when it bought Moorland Energy and with it Government licences to explore an area stretching from Helmsley to East Ayton in East Yorkshire.

    1 minute read Issue 13
  • Oxide plans to increase production

    JUST months after buying out Arkema’s 50% stake in Oxochimie, INEOS Oxide wants to grow the business. It is now considering producing a new range of oxo derivatives, including 2-ethyl hexanoic acid and polyalcohols, to complement its existing products. Oxo alcohols are mainly used to produce acrylic esters, diesel additives and paints and make lubricants. The site of the new production plant is likely to be on a core INEOS site in either Zwijndrecht, Belgium, Dormagen, Germany or Lavéra in France. “This is a significant growth project for INEOS,” said CEO Graham Beesley. Oxochimie had been a 50:50 joint venture between INEOS Oxide and the French chemicals group Arkema. INEOS fully acquired it in March this year.

    1 minute read Issue 13
  • Global demand drives European investment

    INEOS Oxide is to capitalise on the continuing global demand for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) an essential chemical used to make paints, windscreens, fuel tanks, PVC and adhesives. It plans to spend hundreds of millions of Euros building a new plant at one of its integrated European sites either in Saltend, Hull, Koln in Germany, or Antwerp in Belgium. CEO Graham Beesley described it as an exciting project for INEOS. “The demand for VAM in Europe continues to grow briskly but the market is currently uncomfortably reliant on imports from remote locations for sufficient supply,” he said. “Our new capacity is designed to plug the gap and improve supply dependability to our customer base.” All three locations benefit from pipeline or terminal supply of the raw material ethylene, and low cost logistics for the other key raw material, acetic acid. In addition, all three are also well positioned to supply the VAM market efficiently.

    1 minute read Issue 13
  • Germany chosen for new cumene plant

    INEOS is to build its own world-scale cumene plant in Germany with the very best technology. The decision was made in response to demand from its customers and to ensure a secure supply of cumene, an essential raw material for INEOS’ phenol and acetone plants in Gladbeck and Antwerp. “Our plan shows a clear commitment to our European phenol sites and our business,” said Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Phenol. The new plant is expected to be up and running by 2020. INEOS Phenol is the world’s largest producer of phenol and acetone and the largest consumer of cumene. It already owns and operates one of the world’s largest single train cumene plants at its Pasadena site in Texas.

    1 minute read Issue 13

    INEOS achieved record profits last year. It recorded underlying profits of €4.3billion – a figure only rivalled by the very biggest names in the industry. The company said it was also repaying a €1.2 billion debt from its own cash resources and had refinanced a €4 billion debt, saving more than €100 million a year. “It’s fantastic news,” said INEOS Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe. “INEOS is in great shape. These figures confirm that it is doing better than ever. All the businesses are performing well and our successful refinancing shows that the market is clearly recognising this fact.” INEOS Finance Director John Reece said INEOS had spent the past three months working on the finance package, which had resulted in it being able to reduce costs and extend maturities until 2022 at the earliest. “Not only that but we were oversubscribed by 50%, which showed the credit market’s strong confidence in us,” he said. Jim said INEOS was a unique business. “We only set it up 18 years ago, and it has never floated,” he said. “It’s a tribute to everyone involved – management and staff – that it is now doing so well.” The news of its record year coincided with the official opening of its new UK headquarters in Knightsbridge, London. Jim said the move reflected INEOS’ growth in the UK, where it is investing more than $2billion, and its immense confidence in Britain’s economic future. “We’ve come back to Britain because there is a lot going on here,” he told guests at the official opening of its Hans Crescent HQ on 7 December last year. “The UK is a much better place than it was 10 years ago and the Conservative government is very positive about business.” INEOS currently supplies many British homes with gas, it operates a growing trading and shipping business, its chlorvinyls business, now known as INOVYN, has doubled in size, its Grangemouth site is undergoing a renaissance and it is planning to extract shale gas in the north of England. Britain’s decision to leave the European Union didn’t matter, he said. “We are not concerned about Brexit,” he said. “At the end the day the UK is the world’s 5th largest market and you can’t ignore the world’s 5th largest market.”

    4 minutes read Issue 12

    ANTWERP has been a magnet for trade ever since it began exporting wine from Germany to England in the 12th century. So it is rather fitting that it is where Jim Ratcliffe should do his first, major deal when he bought the freehold to a former BP-owned site in Zwijndrecht, Antwerp, 19 years ago and founded INEOS. Since then The Port of Antwerp has become the most integrated petrochemical cluster on the planet with links to the rest of the world, via sea, rail, and road and an extensive, 1000km pipe network. And INEOS has grown from just one site in Belgium to become the world’s third largest chemical company with sales of $40 billion and employing 17,000 people at 67 manufacturing sites in 16 countries. Both clearly shared a vision, saw opportunities where others didn’t and believed in a smarter future that continues to this day. “INEOS is a big player in our industry in Belgium and has been part of the development and success of this chemical cluster,” said Yves Verschueren, Managing Director of Essenscia, the Belgian association for the chemical industry. “It drives process efficiency to the highest levels and often shows us where the markets are leading us.” From one site at Antwerp in 1998, INEOS now operates eleven other manufacturing sites in Belgium – in Lillo, Doel, Zandvliet, Geel, Tessenderlo, Jemeppe Sur Sambre, Feluy and Zweijndrecht – and a research laboratory in Neder-Over-Heembeek (NOH) where more than half of the 100+ employee are highly-educated engineers and PhDs from all over the world. Together INEOS businesses – Oxide, Styrolution, Phenol, Oligomers, INOVYN, ChloroToluene and INEOS O&P Europe – produce products that make modern life possible, and, with 2,500 staff, are the second largest employer in the petrochemical industry in Belgium. One who remembers the birth of INEOS is Hans Casier, now CEO of INEOS Phenol. “Jim saw great potential in the site and the business at Zwijndrecht,” he said. “He listened to people’s ideas of what needed to be done to increase production.” He not only listened but he challenged the staff to do it. “It was quite a shock to the system,” said Hans. “We were not used to that approach. We were no longer being asked to contemplate what needed to be done. We were being asked to do it. And deep down we knew we had to make it work.” The turnaround was swift and there was a real focus. Hans attributed the success to the Belgian teams who not only believed in the plan but had the knowledge and skills to make it happen. “We may be a small country but we are also quite open-minded which has helped us over the years to attract a lot of inward investment from the likes of Germany, the US, Japan, France and the UK,” he said. One of the things that INEOS in Belgium has been good at is convincing others – so called Third Parties – to share. To date, 12 of its suppliers and customers now occupy its site at Zwijndrecht, saving money by sharing resources, energy, infrastructure and services. And it has some impressive statistics of its own. The largest PAO production plant in the world is run by INEOS Oligomers from Feluy. Its Geel site, which is championed by outsiders as one of the most energy efficient plants in Europe, produces more than 100 products that are distributed to 76 different countries. The second largest ethylene oxide unit in Europe is in Antwerp where every year INEOS Oxide produces 400,000 tonnes of the base chemical for almost everything made for modern life. Lillo has a hand in helping to make two of Belgium’s most important products – the plastic wrappers for its chocolate and a pipeline for its beer. “The Belgians like their beer so we love the fact that we have made the pipe that transports beer from a brewery in the centre of Bruges to outside the city where it is bottled,” said Veerle Gonnissen, site manager for the Olefins & Polymers North Plants (Geel and Lillo). One of the site’s other big customers is the UK’s fresh milk market. “In the UK they use a lot of fresh milk and 70% of the bottles they use are made from our products,” she said. But that’s not all. The sites also specialise in producing plastics for packaging, medical equipment and, even, artificial grass. Belgium is also home to the world’s biggest and most efficient phenol and acetone plant, producing 650,000 tonnes of phenol and 425,000 tonnes of acetone a year. “We have a great team here,” said Marcus Plevoets, site manager for INEOS Phenol. “It is a brand new facility, we have the best technology and the highest energy efficiency.” Phenol can be found in cleaning products, shower gels, shampoos, aspirin, plastics and mobile phones. “A life without phenol and acetone is difficult to imagine,” said Marcus, “because these products are everywhere.” As with all of INEOS’ sites, safety, reliability and growth remain the focus for the team at INEOS Oxide – one of only a few producers in the world of ENB, a very special polymer used predominately in the car industry. “We have really mastered this over the years,” said CEO Graham Beesley, who, in a previous life when he worked for Procter & Gamble, was one of INEOS’ customers. “There are only two established producers in the world and we are the only one in Europe.” He said the site had managed to treble its production of ENB by making a series of minor expansions over the 19 years of INEOS’ existence. Over the years INEOS’ other sites throughout the world have, in fact, looked to Belgium for inspiration in how to be part of a successful petrochemical cluster. “INEOS does take advantage of being part of such a large and integrated cluster, but it also contributes a lot,” said Yves. “It interacts with the local community and in many respects, through its work, has opened the eyes of people living here. It has certainly helped government officials to understand how innovation can really play a crucial role in the success of this cluster.” Looking to the future, all INEOS’ Belgian sites have plans to do things better. Sharper, smarter thinking remains top of their list. A crucial, current project for INEOS Oxide at Zwijndrecht is the construction of a new ethylene oxide storage tank and a fifth alkoxylation reactor. The site wants to focus on producing more alkoxylates, which can be made into a whole raft of products, but it needs more ethylene oxide on tap, and a fifth reactor on site to cope with the demand. “This will enable the business to be less reliant on selling ethylene glycol, which, while being important for the business, is more volatile when it comes to profit margins,” said Graham. INEOS Styrolution is planning to convert an extruder line to produce white-coloured ABS for use in the production of household appliances and electronic devices. INEOS O&P Europe is planning upgrades and a new catalyst feeding drum so it can run with two different catalysts. INOVYN wants to extend its membrane electrolysis by 25% and invest in a large-scale potassium hydroxide (KOH) production unit. And INEOS Phenol is currently exploring ways of working with other industries on the huge site to use energy generated from waste as part of a major initiative. “It’s early days but we will work hard to make this happen,” said Marcus. By capturing and reusing wasted steam to power other plants on the site, INEOS will stop 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases being pumped into the air every year. And that matters to Marcus and his team. “We need to show society that we do care about the next generation and that we are environmentally friendly,” he said. Despite the rapid – and continued – growth of INEOS, Belgium retains its special place in Jim’s heart and remains very much at the heart of what and how it does business. Will it be ignored post-Brexit? Not at all, says Jim. “Belgium is a great manufacturing country, we have made a huge amount of investment and it has a great track record,” he said.

    4 minutes read Issue 12

    BELGIUM’S chemical industry is not only thriving. It’s growing. Essenscia, the Belgian association for the chemical industry, said that was a result of always striving to be one step ahead of the competition by focusing on innovation, be it in new products, high quality infrastructure, energy efficiency or hiring the very best people. “We are faced with challenges but we remain confident that we can master them,” said Managing Director Yves Verschueren. The industry employs about 90,000 people directly with more and more being hired every year. “That’s in sharp contrast to other industrial sectors which have seen job losses,” he said. Its annual contribution to Belgium’s GDP is about 16 billion euros. “This really is an industry of utmost importance to this country,” said Yves. As such, it does have clout. “Successful companies like INEOS have an important role in helping our government officials to understand that investments will only continue to be made if the conditions continue to be right here,” he said. “And that includes lower energy costs.” The Belgians, though, do face other challenges – just like the rest of western Europe. “Youngsters have, to a certain degree, lost interest in science, maths and engineering,” said Yves. One who feels that is Holger Laqua, Plant Manager at INEOS Oxide in Zwijndrecht, Antwerp. “Ours is a very technically-orientated site and finding good technical people is a challenge,” he said. “We go into schools and explain what we do and what we make because we need to make children from 12 think about this profession.” Essenscia also visits schools, and has set up science parks and museums to change perception and show children that the answers to today’s most challenging questions will come from the chemical industry. “We need to open their eyes and show them what the chemistry industry is already doing to create a more sustainable society and tackle climate change,” said Yves. And with 2,600 vacancies expected every year in the coming years to replace those who are retiring, that will become increasingly more important.

    2 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS has taken yet another bold step to reinforce its global position. Last month it confirmed that it planned to build the largest butane storage tank ever seen in Europe. Once built, INEOS will be able to import lowcost butane from America, and other world markets in the largest ships possible to supply competitive raw materials to its naphtha crackers in Köln, Germany, and ultimately Lavéra in France. The tank, which will be built in Antwerp, will also mean INEOS Trading & Shipping can sell butane in Europe. INEOS’ gas crackers – in Norway and Scotland – are already reaping the benefits of INEOS’ decision to ship low-cost ethane from the US to Rafnes and Grangemouth where it is stored in huge, purpose-built tanks. The latest news also reinforces Belgium’s important position in the world of petrochemicals. The Port of Antwerp is already home to the biggest ethylene terminal in Europe and the second largest in the world, thanks to INEOS. Seven years ago INEOS invested 100 million euros in the new, one million tonne terminal so it could import low-cost ethylene from around the world for its European plants and those connected along the ARG pipeline. “This latest tank and terminal will provide INEOS with increased flexibility and security of supply that will significantly improve our competitiveness in Europe,” said David Thompson, CEO INEOS Trading & Shipping. “It also positions INEOS as a major player in global LPG markets.” Holger Laqua, Plant Manager at INEOS Oxide, believes INEOS is driving the chemical industry in Europe. “A few years ago others thought the European chemical industry was dead but we made some good decisions,” he said.

    3 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS has agreed a $250 million deal buy BP’s Forties Pipeline System which delivers almost 40% of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas. The sale of the 235-mile pipeline system was agreed this month, subject to regulatory and other third party approvals. When it first opened in 1975, the pipeline transported oil from BP’s Forties field, which was then the UK’s first major offshore oil field, primarily to the Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland. BP then owned both the refinery and chemical plant but sold them to INEOS in 2005. Today the pipeline links 85 North Sea oil and gas assets to the UK mainland and INEOS’ site in Grangemouth where 20% of the oil, which passes down the pipeline, feeds the refinery to provide 80% of Scotland’s fuel. INEOS Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe described the Forties Pipeline System as a UK strategic asset. “INEOS will be able to produce greater efficiencies and help secure a competitive, long-term future for this important piece of UK oil and gas infrastructure,” he said. Last year the pipeline’s average daily throughput was 445,000 barrels oil and 3,500 tonnes of raw gas. But it can transport 575,000 barrels of oil a day. The 300 people, who operate and support the FPS business at Kinneil, Grangemouth, Dalmeny and offshore, are expected to become INEOS’ Upstream employees. INEOS already supplies gas to many thousand British homes following its decision to buy the Breagh and Clipper South gas fields in the Southern North Sea from Letter1 in 2015. On completion of the deal the ownership and operation of Forties Pipeline System, the Kinneil terminal and gas processing plant, the Dalmeny terminal, sites at Aberdeen, the Forties Unity Platform and associated infrastructure will transfer to INEOS. “This is another very significant deal for INEOS,” said Jim. “The acquisition reunites North Sea and Grangemouth assets under INEOS ownership. INEOS is now the only UK company with refinery and petrochemical assets directly integrated into the North Sea.”

    3 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS remains committed to pursuing shale gas exploration in the UK. It hopes to drill its fi rst vertical, coring well this year at a site near the Derbyshire village of Marsh Lane to test the nature of the rock thousands of feet beneath the surface. In March Derbyshire County Council ruled that INEOS did not need to carry out an environmental impact assessment before submitting its detailed planning application to drill in Bramleymoor Lane. “We were very pleased with that decision,” said Tom Pickering, INEOS Shale Operations Director. “But whilst screening demonstrated that there was no need for an assessment on this occasion, we will of course carry one out when there is a clear need for us do so.” Despite the ruling he sought to reassure villagers, who might be concerned about the impact on the environment, that their views would still be considered. “Although we are not required to complete a formal impact assessment, all relative environmental concerns will be addressed as part of our planning application,” he said. The plans, which will be drawn up after meeting members of the local community, will include a report about the use of water, ecology, noise, landscape and visual effects, and cultural heritage. “We want to ensure that the important issues have been discussed, considered and are understood before we submit our planning application,” said Tom. Once the well has been drilled, samples of the rock will be analysed in a laboratory. “We need to identify the geological characteristics of the rock and its gas-producing properties,” said Tom. INEOS believes Britain needs to consider where it will get its energy from as coal and nuclear power stations close. Britain’s last coal mine, Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire, closed in December 2015, bringing to an end centuries of deep coal mining in the UK. “Extracting shale gas is not about using more fossil fuels,” said Tom. “It’s about displacing coal, and using our own gas rather than imports.” Earlier this year Friends of the Earth admitted it had misled the public over fracking. The Advertising Standards Authority found the group had no evidence to show that the fl uid used in fracking contained chemicals dangerous to people’s health. The authority’s exhaustive 14-month investigation also showed the environmental group could not prove claims that a US fracking site had caused an increase in asthma rates, and that the public in Britain would face a similar risk by living or working near a fracking site. FOE also wrongly claimed that fracking would lead to falling house prices and increase the risks of cancer. “These false claims have formed the heart of the FOE’s wrongheaded opposition to fracking,” said Tom. He said INEOS wanted a ‘grown-up science-based discussion’ based on truth. “Britain’s energy and manufacturing sectors are too important to allow fake facts to infl uence the debate,” he said. “Unfortunately, Friends of the Earth and Friends of the Earth Scotland don’t want to engage with us.”

    3 minutes read Issue 12

    SPORTS do not build character; they reveal it. One man who would agree with the late basketball player John Wooden’s sentiment is INEOS’ Andy Bell. He is father to two girls – both of whom are worldclass ice skaters. “The most important thing was that they became better people,” he said. “We did not have any interest in raising prima donnas.“ His eldest daughter Morgan, 25, skates for Disney on Ice and travels the world playing Anna from the fi lm Frozen. His youngest daughter Mariah, 20, is now a serious contender to make next year’s US Olympic team. Andy and his wife Kendra understand the importance of having a strong work ethic. And it’s something they have passed down to their children. “You have to love the grind of training and hard work,” said Andy. “You have to be passionate about what you do. We never focused on their results but rather their work ethic and the effort they put in. It’s a marathon not a sprint. So many parents of young athletes fail to realise that and push their kids. Sadly most of them never last very long.” Andy is equally as passionate about his work with INEOS. He was instrumental in helping INEOS to secure deals with American companies as part of its ground-breaking decision to ship shale gas from the US to Europe. For almost six years he worked tirelessly on what became known as the Mariner Project, leading the negotiations for the 15-year terminal and supply agreements. “In the early days we faced a lot of industry scepticism about our ability to pull the project off,” he said. “But many of the relationships, which started from cold calls, are now very strategic partnerships.” There were dark days, though, and to cope Andy drew inspiration from his daughter. “Many times, when things were not going well, I found a lot of strength thinking about Mariah’s journey in skating, the high and lows, and how if you keep pressing on with your head high you will ultimately succeed,” he said. The only downside to his job is that he spends most of the week in Houston, Texas, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia – about 1,000 miles from the family home in Monument, Colorado. “It’s hard but my primary support role is to fund, as best I can, her pursuits, providing her the best coaching and training environment we can afford,” he said. “My wife carries the heavy load of day-to-day support and she is amazing.” He said sacrifi ces had been made. “There have been a lot, but our primary goal as parents has always been to support our girls to pursue their passions,” he said. “And I cannot think of a more important endeavour.”

    3 minutes read Issue 12

    IT is a team-building exercise only the likes of INEOS would have devised for its graduates. But company chairman Jim Ratcliffe believes anything is possible with the right attitude and that’s why they have been set the rarest and toughest of team challenges. “It’s remarkable what people can do and accomplish when they turn the brakes off in their head,” he said. For six days, the 29 graduates ran, hiked and biked 250km in the blistering heat through the untouched Namibian desert, the last frontier of the big 3 – the lion, the black rhino and the desert elephant. They passed over ancient volcanic craters, climbed the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest peak, and conquered the unforgiving basalt lavas of the Ugab on foot. “Although they enured gruelling physical conditions, and running and cycling on sand, the rewards will be huge,” said project leader John Mayock. The graduates, who include eight women, began their epic journey from Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast on Saturday May 6. “I have noticed a few of them were a little nervous, but the positive camaraderie amongst them was fantastic,” said John. Jim is no stranger to danger. He is one of only a handful of people who has made it to both the North and South Pole. He joined the graduates along with Simon Laker, INEOS Group Operations Director, and fitness and medical experts. “Part of the INEOS philosophy is to encourage people to take on more,” he said. “If you can, I believe you should maximise the number of days in your life that are unforgettable.” INCH will cover a full report of the event in its next edition due out in July. PAIR FOCUS ON TASK AHEAD AS INEOS TURNS UP THE HEAT INEOS graduates Hannah Salter and Kasper Hawinkel feared the intense heat more than anything. But the thought of running, climbing and cycling in 43 C kept them both focused on the need to train well before they flew to Namibia. “All these anxieties have been very helpful in making sure I do enough of the right types of preparation,” said Hannah, 30. Aside from the heat, plenty appealed to them about the trip, not least sleeping under the stars at the top of a mountain and making friends for life. “A lot of my university friends are jealous,” said Kasper, 28. “Their team-building exercises have involved obstacle courses and go-karting.” Neither Kasper nor Hannah views themselves as athletic, but both love the outdoors. Hannah loves kayaking; Kasper plays water polo. “The trip is my idea of a great holiday, albeit an extreme version of one,” said Hannah, a Procurement Specialist of Polymer Additives, Catalysts and Chemicals for O&P Europe. Kasper is a production engineer at INEOS Oxide in Antwerp, Belgium. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a great challenge to test and expand the limits,” he said.

    4 minutes read Issue 12

    ACCIDENTS were commonplace during the Industrial Revolution. Workers, many of them children, often toiled for hours in dreadful conditions. In 1842 a German visitor noted that he had seen so many people on the streets of Manchester in the North of England without arms and legs that it was like ‘living in the midst of an army just returned from a campaign’. Thankfully those days are long gone. Accidents still do happen but the dangers of exposing workers to asbestos, lead, silica, carbon monoxide and cotton dust are known, and organisations, like OSHA and the HSE, exist to ensure companies abide by the laws of the land. It would appear, though, that the public continues to perceive the chemical industry as an inherently unsafe business. “It is frustrating because we know that this is not the case,” said Simon Laker, INEOS Group Operations Director. Simon recently gave a talk to the insurance market to explain INEOS’ approach to safety, its operations and its management of risk. During his presentation he referred to the latest statistics from pan-industry OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), the strict, US-developed, but worldwide used, system of recording workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses. The results showed that some industries had significantly more accidents than others. Topping the list was manufacturing, closely followed by the construction industry where four in every 100 employees had been injured. The overall petrochemical industry, however, fared much better – with INEOS’ performance even better than that. “People were very impressed with our approach to safety and managing risk and recognised the relentless improvement as borne out by the statistics over many years,” said Simon. Last year INEOS recorded its best-ever safety performance at OSHA rate of 0.32 (0.32 injuries per 100 full-time employees). What made that safety record even more impressive was that INEOS achieved it whilst acquiring businesses from companies that do things differently. “We now have more than 80 sites across 16 countries operating many different technologies, processes and thousands of procedures, monitored across hundreds of thousands of data points,” said Simon. “But it is because of our focus on safety that we continue to see improvement, despite our growth. That ability – to seamlessly integrate new businesses into its safety and operations approach – was actually highlighted by the insurance industry.” Simon told INCH that staff were expected to report all incidents because INEOS believed that was the best – and only – way to ensure valuable lessons were learned every time. “The public should be more confident in a company that reports issues, even minor ones, rather than one which says it has nothing to report,” he said. “It is clear to us which company takes health and safety seriously and which is brushing it under the carpet.” Complacency, though, will always be the biggest danger – and that is something INEOS guards against. “Our aim is always to continually improve so that we have zero incidents,” said Simon. "Only then will we be happy.”

    5 minutes read Issue 12

    CHILDREN who run about a mile every day at school do better in the classroom. A new study has shown that children who ran for 15 minutes a day over three months performed up to 25% better than expected in reading, writing and maths exams. The children were also fitter, more confident and less disruptive. The results have been welcomed by INEOS, which has invested its time, energy and money in helping retired Scottish headteacher Elaine Wyllie to spread the word about her Daily Mile scheme to get children fit for life. “This is excellent preliminary evidence that The Daily Mile has a positive and transformative impact on children’s physical fitness and wider health and wellbeing,” said Holly Eager, Assistant Communications Officer at INEOS’ London-based headquarters. The report had been commissioned by the London Playing Fields Foundation for Public Health England and Sport England to evaluate the impact of The Daily Mile at Coppermill Primary School in East London. For 12 weeks, 76 children from the school were monitored as they ran around a 340-metre track on a playing fi eld for 12 minutes. “It was just a happy coincidence that they effectively chose to evaluate the Daily Mile,” said Holly. “We didn’t know about it until it was near completion.” The results of the experiment amazed teachers, though, with children performing signifi cantly above national and regional predictions in their maths, writing and reading SAT exams. Nationally, 66% of pupils were expected to achieve the national average in reading, but at Coppermill 92% met the grade. “It’s amazing,” said headteacher Figen Bektasoglu. “The Daily Mile does not make children brighter but more focused, attentive and ready to work.” Ursula Heath, Group Communications Offi cer at INEOS, said children from more than 2,500 primary schools in the UK, Europe and the US now took part in The Daily Mile, which involves them leaving the classroom in their uniforms for a 15-minute run, walk or jog. That equates to 500,000 pupils running 1.5 million miles a week and, with INEOS’ support, the initiative is still growing. KIDS CONQUER THE WORLD CHILDREN from St Polycarp’s Primary in Farnham, Surrey, have now effectively run around the world twice. Together they have walked, jogged or run 58,522 miles since The Daily Mile was launched in their school. “Our reception children love running which bodes well for the future,” said a spokesman for the school.

    4 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS’ successful GO Run For Fun campaign to inspire a healthier generation is moving into the classroom. The campaign to get kids running again has been phenomenally successful since it was launched in the summer of 2013 but INEOS believes it can do more to encourage children to lead healthy, active lifestyles. Its team are now focusing on supporting schools, initially in the UK, in promoting the importance of getting fitter and eating the right food. Bite-sized videos and activities, which can become part of lessons, will be offered to schools. Teachers will also be encouraged to set up school running clubs and pupils will be given the chance to become ambassadors to promote the campaign in school. The GO Run For Fun team will continue to host the free fun runs throughout the UK, but there will be fewer, larger ones. “It is simply a focus on making the messaging longer lasting,” said Ursula Heath, group communications officer. GO Run For Fun was founded by INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe amid concerns about the growing obesity crisis among children. The Global World Health Organisation regards it as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. In the UK alone, almost a fifth of four to five-year-olds are overweight. Since the fi rst event, more than 190,000 children, aged fi ve to 10, have taken part in events spanning the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Houston, USA. “And we are still growing,” said Ursula. Last year the team staged 40 events in the UK. This year there will be a handful “But those will be even bigger events,” said Ursula. Events will continue as normal in mainland Europe and America.

    2 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS is officially backing an international initiative to stop the flow of plastic waste into the world’s oceans and rivers. Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe has signed the global plastic industry’s Operation Clean Sweep® – and has pledged to do all he can. The decision to sign was made as the UN Environment Programme claimed about eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea every year. “Unless global action is taken now, our oceans will be filled with the leftovers of human consumption,” a spokesman said in a recent report. “These are really scary statistics and numbers like this stick, especially in the minds of politicians, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), environmental pressure groups and society at large,” said Dr Jason Leadbitter, Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at INOVYN. THE UN Environment Programme intends to invest $6 million over the next five years as part of its ambitious campaign to turn a neglected problem into one that can no longer be ignored. Jason may work for a company that is one of the world’s biggest producers of plastic, be it in pellet or powder form, but he says INEOS has been aware of – and trying to tackle - the problem for years. “We already have countless procedures in place to ensure our sites and processes are carefully managed to prevent plastic powder and pellet lost,” he said. “It is common practice to have spill kits in place and to ensure that good housekeeping is maintained at all times to prevent leakage to the environment.” One of the key pledges of Operation Clean Sweep®, though, will be to provide additional training and accountability to INEOS’ staff, as well as regular audits. “We need to be seen to be taking positive action because we will be judged on this in the years to come,” he said. “It is also in our interests, as such losses, however small, have an economic value to the business.” Jason recalled how 10 years ago he was sitting on a beach in Sardinia when his daughter fished plastic pellets from the sand and asked him what they were. “I have to say I was rather embarrassed to tell her that her daddy worked in an industry that made such pellets,” he said. Jason said the industry could face a bleak future if it failed to tackle this growing and serious problem. “If we fail, then the bigger threat is the design out of plastics which some NGOs are already calling for with regard to certain types of single-use plastics,” he said. “Thankfully Operation Clean Sweep® is beginning to gain momentum and also credibility with some of the NGOs as more and more companies sign up to its pledge.” In the UK alone, Fidra, a Scottish-based charity, estimates that up to 53 billion of these plastic pellets are lost each year. “If you can imagine that a 24-tonne tanker contains about 1.5 billion pellets, you can understand the scale of the problem,” said Jason. Thankfully, Fidra wants to work with industry, including trade associations, not against it. “It understands the importance that plastics play in society and is trying to address the problem collectively,” said Jason. “It sees Operation Clean Sweep® as a means of industry taking on its responsibility.” But plastic pellets are only part of the problem. Microbeads – the tiny bits of plastic found in exfoliating body washes and facial scrubs – are designed to be flushed down drains. But the particles float in water and can be carried over significant distances. There are numerous campaigns, calling for them to be banned, but in the meantime, fish feed on them, mistaking them for food. “Personally I find microbeads completely indefensible,” said Jason. “The leakage to nature is unavoidable and they clearly do tarnish the reputation of the plastics industry.” Over the next five years the UN Environment Programme plans to mobilise the biggest-ever clean-up of beaches around the world to highlight the problem. “This is an issue not just for industry, but for the whole of society,” said Jason. ELLEN MACARTHUR WARNS OF STORM ON HORIZON DAME Ellen MacArthur, who made history when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe in 2005, has become a driving force for change. She believes the structure of today’s global economy is fundamentally flawed – and believes people can learn from nature where nothing is wasted. “How can our economy really run in the long term when it involves taking a finite material out of the ground, making something out of it and then ultimately throwing it away?” she said. “We need to build an economy where we use things, not use them up.” In a new report, published in January by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, global plastics producers were called on to design better packaging, increase recycling rates and introduce new models for making better use of packaging. Just 14% of plastic packaging is currently recycled. She believes it can easily be increased to 70% by rethinking the design.

    6 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS has embarked on an initiative that has the power to change the world. It has joined ELEGANCY, a Norwegian-led research project to fi nd a way better, easier and cheaper way of capturing carbon, the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. If the EU agrees to fund the project this spring, INEOS will sponsor a PhD student at the Imperial College in London to explore how, chiefl y, its Grangemouth site in Scotland could capture and store carbon. “In the future the UK is going to have to run its economy with much lower carbon emissions to meet tougher climate change budget targets so this is a very good collaboration,” said Professor Nilay Shah, head of chemical engineering at the college. “We will provide the student with a lot of the tools to carry out the analysis and the team in Grangemouth will give them a lot of the industrial reality of what may, or may not, be possible on the site.” INEOS, he said, was the perfect company to work with on a project that was close to the college’s heart. “It is quite a far-thinking company and has some amazing facilities, not only in Grangemouth, but also in mainland Europe and it’s very interested in what we’re trying to do in hydrogen and carbon capture,” he said. “All the indications are that they are very open to have this kind of collaboration and to be challenged, and to be pushed hard, to go green and go quickly.” The college has recently built a pilot carbon capture facility to better understand how carbon capture works. “We want to show companies like INEOS that it’s actually possible to keep operating in a low carbon environment,” he said. Industry has so far managed to reduce its emissions through energy efficiency even though it is not legally obliged to do so. But Professor Shah said companies like INEOS were sensible to start making more plans for the future before the law did change. “It not only shows their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint but also that they realise their wider obligations to society,” he said. Professor Shah said INEOS’ decision to want to work closely with a PhD student was also refreshing because the company knew that the student might ask some diffi cult questions and expose ineffi ciencies within the business. “The student might potentially find alternative ways of doing things which can be better, so the people at the other end, need to be comfortable to be open about what they’re doing,” he said. “To us, this collaboration shows that INEOS wants to go down a very clean production process path.” Governments believe capturing and storing carbon is part of the road to creating a lower carbon economy. But industry, in some ways, is sceptical. It says not only is the technology currently too costly to build and operate, but no one has thought about how its unwanted gas could be distributed to those who need or want it. INEOS, which produces carbon dioxide as a byproduct of its processes, says the PhD student will spend most of their time at Grangemouth, and its cracker sites in Rafnes, Norway, and Köln, Germany. “That’s what appealed to INEOS,” said Colin Pritchard, Energy and Business Manager at Grangemouth. “This is not going to be a purely academic exercise. The solutions need to work in industry.” The student will be able to judge for themselves how well their ideas would work in a real-life industrial setting. INEOS became involved in the project through Greet Van Eetvelde’s R&D network, via Professor Mazzotti at ETHZ in Zürich and Professor Shah, both of whom are ELEGANCY partners. If it goes ahead, in July, INEOS will explore the pros and cons of carbon capture and storage, as part of the consortium of hand-picked industrial partners and academic institutions in Europe. “It is a big project with the potential to change the world but even a company as big as INEOS needs to work with other partners to make this happen because the challenges are beyond one simple engineering thing,” said Colin whose job is to ensure Grangemouth’s manufacturing plant is supplied with suffi cient steam and power. Greet, who chairs the pan-INEOS Carbon and Energy Network, drives R&D projects across INEOS’ businesses. Her aim is to understand and generate industry-proof solutions to the challenges of switching to a lower carbon economy. “We hope, through our industrial experience and operational knowledge, that we can help to plot a pathway to that future,” she said.

    4 minutes read Issue 12

    INEOS has bought a Danish company’s entire oil and gas assets in the North Sea for more than $1 billion. DONG Energy said it wanted to focus on renewables, in particular wind farms. “We have been actively working to get the best transaction by selling the business as a whole to ensure its long-term development and, with INEOS, we have obtained just that,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO of DONG Energy. For INEOS, the acquisition of a portfolio of well-run, long-life assets, with a highly successful and experienced team, is a perfect fit as the Group continues to expand its Upstream business. “This business is very important to us at this stage of our growth plans and we are delighted with the expertise that comes with it,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “We already see lots of opportunity within this impressive portfolio.” In acquiring the entire DONG Oil & Gas Business, the deal positions INEOS as a top ten company in the North Sea and the biggest privately owned exploration and production business operating in this energy basin. Included in the deal is Ormen Lange, the second largest gas field in Norwegian waters, Laggan- Tormore, a new gas field west of Shetland, and oil and gas hubs in Denmark. The business currently produces about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and about 70% of its production comes from its Norwegian fields. But INEOS Upstream believes it can do more. “We think we have got a lot to offer this business,” said Jim. INEOS already has a proven track record in operating complex assets to further maximise the economic recovery of the hydrocarbons. The Upstream business was founded in October 2015 when it bought all of the UK North Sea gas fields owned by the DEA Group. A few days later Fairfield Energy Holdings Ltd sold its 25% interest in the Clipper South platform to INEOS. More recently INEOS agreed to acquire a strategic UK asset as it plans to buy BP’s 235-mile Forties pipeline system for $250 million. The latest deals are subject to regulatory approval but once complete, the 440 DONG and FPS staff will become INEOS employees.

    3 minutes read Issue 12

    A FORWARD-THINKING community helped to convince a fast-growing, dynamic American business to invest millions in a new manufacturing plant in their city. When they heard that WL Plastics wanted to open a new factory to make polyethylene pipes for the use in support of infrastructure (water, conduit, sewer, drainage) and the US shale gas industry, they embraced the company’s plans and helped to fast track the project. As the community lined up to back the development, community leaders and politicians came up with a $2.9 million package of incentives to entice the company to build its new factory in Statesboro in Georgia, USA. The Development Authority of Bulloch County, the county and the state promised to donate 31 acres of land for the factory for free and build a railway spur to the site of the proposed new plant. In return, they asked for, among other things, the creation of 50 well-paid jobs for people who would eventually work at the plant, as well as a commitment to spend money on local goods and services needed to make WL’s products. The incentives worked. The factory was built and production began in January this year. “This has been a real win-win for all,” said Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS O&P USA which acquired WL Plastics late last year. WL Plastics was in the midst of building its seventh production site in Statesboro when INEOS bought 100% of the company in November. The factory makes high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes which are needed for infrastructure development and to move water to and from shale gas fracking sites in the US. “This is an excellent example of the investment that follows shale and infrastructure development,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe who has invested millions in trying to kickstart the UK’s shale gas industry. Pipes, which are made from HDPE, don’t leak or rust and, if properly designed and installed, don’t need maintaining for 100 years. As such, they are in demand from oil and gas producers. At the offi cial opening ceremony of the new factory last month, Benjy Thompson, spokesman for the Development Authority of Bulloch County, praised the $13 million investment by INEOS-owned WL Plastics. “This type of project adds diversity to an industrial base,” he said. “Instead of having one or two large employer-industries, we have a number of medium to small-sized manufacturers. And that helps the overall health of our economy.” Dennis agreed. “I believe this is the story behind shale in creating jobs that spin off out of the development of low-cost energy. And any great society needs these kind of manufacturing jobs for its communities if it is to survive.”

    4 minutes read Issue 12
  • Step forward, Kendra

    Kendra Carter, Olefins Business Manager at INEOS O&P USA, will be presented with a Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award in recognition of her exemplary leadership. Every year The Manufacturing Institute selects 100 women who have made a difference in their field. No one is more delighted for Kendra than her boss, Dennis Seith. “Kendra has become one of our business leaders who is making a big impact in the way she coaches and leads by example,” he said. “And she is one of the reasons our US-based business has been a top performer for profitability within the INEOS Group.” The olefins business has grown 300 percent under Kendra’s direction, and she has successfully helped to implement projects that have not only increased production but also reduced the environmental footprint of the business. “What we do improves the quality of life for people around the world, and that is truly inspiring,” she said. “The products we make touch people through their clothing, housing, food, and transportation.” The Manufacturing Institute hopes that women, like Kendra, will help to inspire the next generation of women seeking careers in manufacturing.

    1 minute read Issue 12
  • INOVYN rewards visionary companies

    INNOVATIVE companies, which share INOVYN’s vision of continuous product improvement and sustainable development, showed what the industry had to offer late last year. And those deemed the best walked away with the honours. The occasion was the first-ever INOVYN Awards for Innovation with Vinyls. “PVC is often perceived to be a mature product, but the reality is that our industry continues with a strong tradition of innovation,” said Chris Tane, CEO of INOVYN, Europe’s leading producer of vinyls. “It is the lifeblood of our industry.” PVC may have been around since the 1930s, but it is constantly evolving to meet the demands of a changing world. Over the past 10 years alone, about 70,000 PVC-related patents have been registered – and the annual trend is upwards. INOVYN had invited manufacturers, distributors, architects, designers, students and academic and research organisations from around the world to compete for a top accolade at the inaugural event. The response was overwhelming. In all organisations from 17 countries across five continents submitted 72 projects to be considered for awards for either innovation, sustainability or industrial design. “The level and the quality clearly showed that innovation is as vigorous as ever in our industry,” said Chris. After a difficult decision by the five independent judges, Chemson Pacific Pty Ltd from Australia won the award for innovation with its 3D-vinyl for advanced industrial 3D printing. “It was a real honour to be recognised by INOVYN for our contribution to PVC,” said Greg Harrison, Managing Director of Chemson. Winner of the sustainability award was UK-based Axion Consulting for a scheme that recycles PVC used in the healthcare industry. And Swedish company Bolon AB won the industrial design category for its interactive design tool, which allows people to customise their own woven vinyl flooring design. Chris said the global vinyls industry was acutely aware of the need to produce sustainable products. “It’s absolutely critical to the continued success of the industry,” he said The next awards will be held in 2019.

    2 minutes read Issue 12

    The acquisition had been subject to European Commission clearance, which was given last month. CEO Graham Beesley described the sale of oxo alcohols, which are mainly used to produce acrylic esters, diesel additives, paints, and to make lubricants, as a core business for INEOS Oxide. The deal will also see INEOS take full ownership of Oxochimie, its 50:50 joint venture with the French chemicals group. Oxochimie has a site in Lavéra, where it produces butanol and 2-ethyl hexanol. “We’re looking forward to integrating the Oxochimie joint venture and growing our global market presence in oxo alcohols, aldehydes and derivatives,” said Graham.

    1 minute read Issue 12
  • Grangemouth keeps options open

    INEOS O&P UK is in talks with several different companies interested in relocating to Grangemouth – home of INEOS’ new, £20 million HQ which recently won an award for architectural excellence. Site business development manager Ian Little said no deals had yet been signed but he was confident of the site’s renewed appeal following INEOS’ ground-breaking decision to ship ethane from the US to the Scottish port. “It is very early days at the moment,” he said. “We’ve had preliminary discussions with a small number of chemical manufacturing companies.” INEOS’ vision for the Grangemouth site is that, by 2020, it will become a leading global chemical manufacturing hub and a centre of excellence. Its new HQ certainly helps to give off an air of confidence. In March this year, that renewed confi dence was felt when the four-storey building, which had been designed by one of Scotland’s leading fi rm of architects, picked up a prize at the 4th annual Scottish Property Awards in Edinburgh. “For us, the building signals our ongoing commitment to creating a world class manufacturing site at Grangemouth,” said John McNally, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK. The new offices, though, which have brought the 450 people who work for INEOS Olefins & Polymers together for the first time since INEOS bought the site from BP in 2005, are just one part of INEOS’ long-term, £450 million investment into its 1,700- acre Grangemouth site. The shipments of shale gas, which began arriving at Grangemouth late last year, have breathed new life into the site and brought about a renaissance in petrochemical manufacturing.

    2 minutes read Issue 12
  • INEOS’ insight into the future

    A LONE Scottish piper heralded the arrival of the first shipment of US fracked shale gas into Grangemouth. Bob Lowe, a former INEOS employee, played Skye Boat Song from the bow as the 600ft vessel INEOS Insight – emblazoned with the words ‘Shale gas for manufacturing’ – passed under the Forth Bridge. For John McNally, CEO INEOS O&P UK, it was a moment to savour as he witnessed history in the making along with about 400 guests including INEOS staff whose names had been drawn from a hat. “When I took over as CEO in 2014, people were talking about this day then,” he said. “We have literally been counting down the days for the past two years.” On board the specially-designed ship, which had been built in China, was 27,500 cubic metres of ethane that had been pumped out of the ground more than 3,000 miles away in Pennsylvania and loaded on to the vessel for its 10-day voyage across the Atlantic. The UK’s Chemical Industries Association described it as the most significant investment in manufacturing in a decade. “The shipments are not just good news for INEOS,” said Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association. “It is also good news for the whole of the sector and beyond. By allowing affordable and secure energy into the system as INEOS are taking the lead in doing, we can get manufacturing working at better capacity. This will deliver strong environmental, social and economic benefits for all.” INEOS’ precious cargo from America will allow British industry to finally take advantage of the cheap US gas which has done so much to revitalise manufacturing in America, and help the UK to compete globally. Across the Atlantic, America’s energy is now so competitive that there are large building programmes in industries such as chemicals and steel, which have suddenly become the most competitive in the world. “In America so much gas is being produced, that gas import terminals are being converted for exports,” said INEOS Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe. Jim, who grew up in Failsworth, Manchester, said the arrival of the first US shipment was a hugely important and historic day for both INEOS and the UK. “Its arrival guarantees the security of thousands of jobs in Scotland,” he said. “Shale gas can help to stop the decline of British manufacturing and today is the first step in that direction.” It is the first time ethane from US shale gas has been shipped to the UK’s shores and is the culmination of a $2 billion (£1.53 billion) investment by INEOS. In all, eight tankers will create the virtual pipeline between the US and the UK every week for the next 15 years. To receive the gas at Grangemouth, INEOS had to invest millions to modernise the 1,700-acre Scottish site. It built a new import terminal so vessels could offload their vital cargo and installed more than three miles of pipelines to transport the gas on its final journey from the port to a new 40-metre high ethane storage tank, the largest of its kind in Europe. A brand new office block was also built, bringing everyone together for the first time since INEOS bought the site from BP in 2005. “The impact on Grangemouth will be transformational,” said John. “It will reverse the plant’s fortunes overnight because it will finally be able to run at full capacity.” The olefins plant has been running at half capacity, leading to huge losses, for many years because of a shortage of North Sea gas which INEOS uses as an essential feedstock. Without it, INEOS would have been forced to close the loss-making petrochemical plant due to the severe decline of gas from the North Sea. The closure of the petrochemical complex would have probably also spelled the end of its refinery, which produces the bulk of fuels used in Scotland and contributes about 3% of Scotland’s GDP. “If you look back at the history of this site we were at times losing over £100 million a year and it was unsustainable,” said John. “Looking forward we expect to be making over £100 million a year if everything is running.” The crucial element to saving the complex has been the shipments of US shale gas. “Our shale ‘investment’ has saved 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in Scotland,” said Jim. But it’s not only INEOS’ site at Grangemouth that will benefit from the shipments. An historic pipeline built to transport surplus North Sea gas from ExxonMobil’s ethylene plant in Fife to Grangemouth is being reversed so that INEOS can now transport some of its imported gas to ExxonMobil instead. “The Fife plant plays an important role in the region’s economy,” said Sonia Bingham, Fife plant manager for ExxonMobil Chemical. A pipeline will also carry ethylene from Grangemouth to INEOS Oxide’s manufacturing plant in Hull so that it can increase its production of ethyl acetate by 100,000 tonnes a year from next year. Ethyl acetate is in high demand for use in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, inks and flexible packaging and the Hull plant is already running at full capacity. That multi-million investment was announced shortly after Britain voted to leave the European Union. “We believe in British manufacturing and will support it whenever we can,” said Jim. Graham Beesley, CEO INEOS Oxide, said INEOS Oxide was already the largest producer of ethyl acetate in Europe. “We are about to get a lot bigger,” he said.

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Government support was crucial, says INEOS

    THE UK Government’s £230 million loan guarantee for Grangemouth was critical in safeguarding the site’s future, says INEOS. Without it, INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK would have found it more difficult to raise the money it needed to develop the site so that it could import ethane from US shale. With it, INEOS was able to raise funds through public bonds for its £2 billion, world-first project, to ship ethane more than 3,000 miles to the UK and save thousands of Scottish jobs. In September, that faith – that belief that INEOS could actually pull it off – was justified as the site welcomed the very first shipments from Pennsylvania. But the arrival of INEOS Insight, which was carrying that precious cargo, leaves Scotland in a dilemma. The Scottish Government contributed £8 million of public money to INEOS’ bold plans, knowing that without the U.S. gas to replace dwindling North Sea supplies, the loss-making petrochemical complex at Grangemouth would have closed. But the Scottish Government has put in place a moratorium on fracking pending the results of an investigation into whether it is safe. That moratorium, imposed by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP, prevents INEOS, which has licences to explore and develop shale gas, from even testing the geology in Scotland. As almost 400 people gathered to welcome the first shipment of US shale gas, no one from the Scottish Government was there. Scotland’s Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson, whose colleague Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell attended the event, said it reflected badly on the SNP. “People in Scotland will find it hard to understand why Nicola Sturgeon seems happy for shale gas to be shipped across the Atlantic to be used in Scotland, but when it comes to extracting the gas itself, she finds it unacceptable here,” she said. “It is neither environmentally nor economically coherent.” She added: “This development will safeguard thousands of Scottish jobs. By being there, it would have shown that the Scottish Government recognises the economic importance of shale gas and the wider Grangemouth facility.” INEOS, which is now pursuing shale gas exploration in England, described the SNP’s absence as a disappointment but preferred to focus on the positives. “This shipment of US shale gas safeguards thousands of manufacturing jobs in Scotland,” said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chairman and Founder.

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • INEOS' vote of confidence after brexit

    NEWS of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union earlier this year may have sent shockwaves around the world. But for INEOS, one of the world’s largest chemical and energy businesses with 67 manufacturing sites in 16 countries, it remains business as usual. “We had always said we would make things work either in or out of the EU,” said INEOS Chairman and Founder Jim Ratcliffe, who is also one of Britain’s most successful industrialists. “As a business, INEOS supported the common market, but not a United States of Europe.” As the result was announced in the early hours of June 24, Jim called on the British Government to focus on what needed to be done and not get distracted by recriminations. “Brexit is a reality and we must prepare for complex and tough negotiations with our European friends,” he said. “We must listen, we must be unwaveringly polite and retain our charm. But there is no room for weakness or crumpling at 3am when the going gets tough and most points are won or lost.” He said ‘rigour and grit’ mixed with ‘politeness and charm’ were now needed from those negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. “Never forget that we have a decent set of cards,” he said. “And generally Brits are liked and respected around the world.” Jim said Europe needed access to the UK’s market, which is bigger than Russia’s, as much as Britain needed theirs. “Mercedes is not going to stop selling cars in the UK,” he said. “And London is one of the two key financial centres and that isn’t going to change.” The truth is that Britain does not yet know what impact Brexit will have on its economy. “The betting money was on short-term pain and long-term gain,” said Jim. “What’s for certain is that we should be thinking even harder today how we might stimulate the economy.”

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • INEOS appeals to jeremy corbyn as labour leader pledges to ban fracking

    FRACKING for shale gas in Britain will be banned if the Labour Party wins the next UK General Election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made the announcement at his party’s conference in Liverpool in September. The news was greeted with dismay by INEOS Shale which has a licence to explore more than a million acres in the UK for shale gas. “We were deeply disappointed and surprised not to have at least had the opportunity to discuss the matter with him beforehand,” said Gary Haywood, CEO of INEOS Shale. Gary has now written to Mr Corbyn to try to understand the rationale behind his decision – and has offered to meet senior Labour politicians. In his speech to the party conference, Labour MP Barry Gardiner said renewables were the future. “This is not a shale gas versus renewables debate,” said Gary. “As it stands, it leaves unanswered the question of how the UK will heat its homes, manufacture its products and keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing.” In his letter to the leader of the Opposition, Gary explained that gas was the basic raw material needed to produce a multitude of chemical products that were used in most everyday items. He said INEOS, which employs about 4,000 people in the UK, believed it was better to better to source energy from Britain, where it could be regulated, than pay a series of unstable and illiberal regimes to do it for us. To quote Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, “We are increasingly going to be dependent on regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and headchoppers for the gas we need. That isn’t ethical and is surely an abdication of our environmental and moral responsibilities.”

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • Let's make it happen

    THE provision and security of supply of energy is a key responsibility of any government. Keeping the lights on is up there with health, education, and law and order, but is, at times, not as well understood by the public, who demand a hot shower without always understanding the economics behind it. But it is not just the general public to whom energy matters. The manufacturing industry requires a permanent supply to sustain production, production which support more than two million jobs. Manufacturing has to remain competitive, and it needs to remain sufficiently competitive – by which I mean profitable – to promote investment. If not, industry will wither and die, as has happened to the bulk of the once proud British textile industry. The same principle applies to manufacturing which relies upon competitive energy costs such as chemicals, steel, automotive, and many others. If these sectors cannot remain competitive they will close and the jobs will disappear – as we have seen in the steel sector over the past 12 months. Worse, this is already happening. Manufacturing has collapsed in the UK over the past 20 years. From a level close to Germany at about 23pc of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1990s, UK manufacturing today stands at a paltry 9pc. And what little manufacturing that we have left in the UK is saddled with some of the most expensive energy in the world. Gas prices are 50pc higher than in America and electricity is twice what it costs in the US. Germany protects its manufacturing companies by exempting them from green taxes. Successive governments in the UK have instead ladled them on. The present situation is exacerbated by the fact that the UK has had no coherent energy policy for decades. As we see out the last days of coal-fired power stations which are simply too ‘dirty’ for modern environmental standards, we are well into the twilight years of North Sea gas and are sitting on an ageing fleet of nuclear power stations. The Government has appeared to bet the bank in the past 20 years on windmills, despite the head of the renewables lobby recently admitting England just isn’t windy enough for them to work. If we take the country’s total energy requirements, minus transport fuel, then we see that gas and nuclear completely dominate our supply at around 60pc. Wind, which fluctuates widely from day to day, sits at only 3pc. If we assume that coal will be phased out in the next few years then the burden on gas and nuclear only increases. We are totally dependent today as a country on gas and nuclear. There are no viable alternatives on any sensible time horizon. But, and it’s a big but, we are fast running out of gas in the North Sea and our nuclear fleet is ageing. North Sea gas production peaked in the 2000s, and is now running at less than 50pc of its peak. In ten years’ time it will be at less than 20pc. So we must choose between Russian imports, expensive LNG imports, or develop a shale industry of our own, in which INEOS has a vested interest. One shale in the US called Marcellus in Pennsylvania produces over two times the total UK consumption of gas, and drilling only started six years ago. Not only are there vast quantities of shale gas around, it is very cheap – it reduced the price of gas in the US by 75pc – and the UK would appear to be sitting on quite a lot of it. The nuclear debate is more complex. Remarkably there are more than 400 nuclear power stations in the world and there are several technologies. Technology designed by France’s Areva will go into Hinkley Point, despite there being none of these type of reactors in operation yet. Two are being built in Europe, the first in Finland is nine years late and the one in France is seven years late. Both are three times over budget. There are also two being built in China but again both are several years late. This is not an encouraging picture. There are other options, including one type being built by Westinghouse and Toshiba which has satisfied the notoriously stringent US authorities. There eight in construction of which four are in the US. Again they are a few years late but nowhere near as late as their French counterparts. There is also a conventional technology reactor designed by GE and Hitachi, of which four have already been constructed. Today the UK has eight operating nuclear power stations, all of which are ageing. We clearly need to invest in new nuclear capacity, and although there a number of options for different reactors, one thing is clear: we cannot manage without nuclear as nothing can reliably fill the gap. Rather than the current financing agreement in place with EDF and their Chinese counterparts, the Government should consider paying for it up front and put it on the UK’s balance sheet, because once the capital has been spent, the variable costs of producing electricity are very low and it can provide highly competitive power to manufacturing for many years to come. For the foreseeable future, the UK is dependent on gas and nuclear for its primary energy needs to serve the general public and industry/commerce. Our energy policy for the next ten years should give priority to exploiting shale gas safely and to building ‘tried and tested’ new nuclear. It really is not so complicated.

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Köln’s debt of gratitude

    THE future for BP’s petrochemicals site in Köln looked uncertain. BP had lost interest in manufacturing chemicals and was looking to either spin off or sell the business so it could focus on its more profitable core business of producing oil and gas. But where BP saw no future for chemicals, INEOS saw huge opportunities for INNOVENE. And within months it had bought the oil giant’s olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary in a deal worth $9 billion – and, with it, the Köln site. For the staff there was little time to be worried. Within weeks, INEOS, a virtually unknown entity to most of them, had started to make positive changes to how the business was run. The focus immediately shifted back to the core strengths of the site – safety, manufacturing excellence, and its customers. “I remember being relieved because INEOS’ approach was so different to BP’s,” said Dr Axel Goehrt, the former operational site services manager who is now Managing Director Production and Technical Matters. “Staff very quickly saw differences.” There were new management structures and staff were tasked with cutting out avoidable expenses. Act like owners, they were told. Spend money as if it were your own, they were asked. “INEOS was seen as straightforward,” said Dr Patrick Giefers, BP’s former legal and HR manager who is now Commercial Managing Director and Works Manager. “There were no politics and in the early days it was very smooth to discuss any concerns with INEOS Capital which helped enormously because we could clarify any concerns very quickly.” While traditional chemical companies often tended to be conservative with massive overheads, INEOS was a refreshingly young company with a lean, keen management team. For some, though, it did take longer to acclimatise to the fact that BP had sold the business to a company which was now, literally, indebted to the banks to the tune of $9 billion. “The German people are careful and they are not used to debt,” said Patrick. “For some, it was hard at first.” What convinced them that INEOS’ was the right company for the job was when it began to invest in the site. Within six months INEOS had announced plans to spend around €40 million on expanding the cracker capacity at Köln, which would allow the site to produce about 100,000 extra tonnes of ethylene every year. That extra ethylene would be used to either produce polyethylene or supply other INEOS sites via the ARG pipeline system. Over the past 10 years that investment – that belief that the staff have the drive and know-how to make things happen – has continued. Since INEOS acquired the site 10 years ago, it has invested just under €700 million in the plant and production has increased. The year BP sold the business, it spent almost €144 million alone on the site. Process safety is now back where it should be – at the top of the site’s priority list. Since 2006 the OSHA frequency has constantly improved. So far the site’s best year in safety was in 2013 when the frequency was as low as 0.13. Its customer service team – then based in Belgium and the UK – was moved to Germany, which meant staff could talk directly with technicians and colleagues in the production plants. INEOS has always spent its money wisely – on new plants, debottlenecking of infrastructure and making changes that will ultimately benefit the customers. “We don’t fly business class but INEOS looks after us in other ways,” said Axel. In 2013, it doubled the size of its isoamylene plant and cemented its position as a world-scale producer of a raw material that could be used in a wide range of specialty markets including fragrances, agrochemicals, peroxides, polymer antioxidants and hydrocarbon resins. The project was done safely, efficiently and on budget. “It was testament to the high operational and engineering standards upheld at the site,” Karel Brabant, Operations Director of INEOS Oligomers, said at the time. The key to Köln’s success is perhaps embedded in the German way of running assets and the British way of running a business. “Quality matters to us,” said Axel. “We look to the long-term quality of the assets. That’s why we are benefiting from our grandfather’s workmanship. Also the relationship with the unions and the works council is very constructive. Over the past 40 years we have not had a single strike.” Looking ahead, INEOS is planning to invest even more in the site to help develop its portfolio of products with higher profit margins. This year alone, about €100 million will be spent on expanding the plant and improving the infrastructure. “INEOS would not be investing if they did not think they could get a return on that investment,” said Patrick. “So the staff know what they have to do. INEOS is putting a lot of money our way. We now have to make sure we meet the expectations.”

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Do we need manufacturing?

    One thing is clear. Countries that lose their manufacturing base risk losing their ability to innovate. Against the background of an economic environment which has seen the erosion and offshoring of traditional industries in the face of global competition, the German model, or some parts of it, warrants careful consideration. Above all, we have to pay attention to other countries’ policies and programmes and learn from them, just as we have in the past. Charles Wessner, programme director with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy at the National Research Council   Manufacturing jobs are the foundation of our economy. Manufacturing creates the goods that bring in the income that supports the service economy. We cannot just cut each other’s hair and sell each other hamburgers. The income to pay for those haircuts and burgers has to come from somewhere. Campaign for America’s Future   The health of the economy is critically dependent on the health of the manufacturing sector. Over the past several hundred years manufacturing has been the key to prosperity. The most powerful nations in the world are those that control the bulk of the global production of manufacturing technology. But it simply isn’t enough to have factories and produce more goods. You have to know how to make the machinery that makes the goods. Without a robust revival in America’s manufacturing sector, we can kiss our status as a great economic power goodbye. Jon Rynn, author of Manufacturing Green Prosperity: The power to rebuild the American middle class   On a global scale manufacturing matters. Even though it has historically been associated with environmental damage, it now holds out the promise of easing some of the world’s environmental problems. For instance, many goods can now be made using factory processes that involve virtually zero pollution and which allow for recycling once products are discarded. The power of manufacturing to stimulate new thinking has many broader benefits. Many of the innovations that have transformed our lives have evolved from manufacturing. Without the microchip, computer and server, there would be no Internet, Facebook or Google. Manufacturing is vital to Britain’s future prosperity – but it is too often written off. Peter Marsh, Founder of Made Here Now   For many decades, economists argued that manufacturing played a minor role in the modern economy. They were wrong. Over the past decade, more and more economists have confirmed that manufacturing is essential to innovation, and tightly linked to a nation’s economic health and national security. Manufacturing is the engine that drives US innovation. It transforms laboratory research into new products and production processes that generate profits and make the world a better place. It creates new and vital industries, ranging from computers and wireless to biotechnology and solar power. As engineers and manufacturers develop new technologies, they build the capabilities to extend and innovate in new fields. Those innovations give manufacturers the performance or cost edge they need to compete in a crowded international marketplace. Professor Thomas Kurfess, former assistant director for advanced manufacturing at The White House   Not only does manufacturing create value in products and services, but it creates good paying jobs. Production facilities also have an outsize impact in creating jobs among suppliers and service industries that support them. If you walk through a modern factory today, you immediately see that manufacturing is much more than putting tops on bottoms – it often employs sophisticated processes with a heavy dose of computer-driven automation. It is more knowledge work than manual labour. And perhaps most importantly, in new areas like advanced materials and biopharmaceuticals, manufacturing is closely linked to R&D and design in the early stages of production, so being able to make products sustains your ability to innovate over the long term. If you give up the former, you’ll impact your ability to do the latter. Willy Shih, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

    3 minutes read Issue 11
  • Germany's secret

    GERMANY has long been described as the manufacturing powerhouse of Europe. Last year its companies exported goods worth a record €1.196 trillion – up 6.4% from 2014 – and employment reached a record-breaking 43 million. In December Robert E. Scott, a senior Economist and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Economic Policy Institute, said while other industrialised nations had crumpled under Asian competition, Germany had increased exports to China and the rest of Asia – despite the fact that it had among the highest manufacturing wages in the world. “If higher wages hurt manufacturing competitiveness, we’d expect Germany to be doing worse than the United States, but they are not,” he wrote in an article for the Economic Policy Institute. According to the latest figures from the World Bank, manufacturing in Germany accounts for 23% of the economy – compared to 12% in the US, 11% in France and 9.4% in the UK. Dig deeper and you realise Germany’s economic miracle is not left to chance or attributed to being in the right place at the right time. It is a result of their work ethic, a government that sees manufacturing as a good source of jobs and sound, lasting economic growth, and the ability and skills to produce goods of the highest quality. “German companies are rarely the cheapest producers, yet the superior quality and performance of their products enables them to command premium prices and still boost exports,” Charles W. Wessner, a programme director with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy at the National Research Council, wrote in an article for Mechanical Engineering. British journalist Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s South Asia correspondent, spent several months in Germany with his wife Bee and two of their four children trying to discover what made Germany so successful. Many conversations with his contacts in Germany revealed some home truths. “One young German woman had worked in an office in the UK and had been horrified to see how little people worked,” he said. “When Germans talk to each other, it is about work. In the UK she said people were all on Facebook, texting their friends, emailing them, and making personal phone calls.” Justin worked for Faber-Castell, one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of pencils. The business is still run today by a direct descendent of the founder. What it does, it does brilliantly. “The secret of German success seems to be that they focus on one tiny bit of business but do it on a world scale,” he said. That is certainly true of Faber-Castell. The business was founded 255 years ago by a cabinet maker who initially produced pencils in his spare time. Today the business runs 14 factories, employs about 7,000 people and sells in more than 100 countries. “It is a typical mittelstand company,” said Count Anton Wolfgang Faber-Castell who runs the business today. Germans use the word mittelstand for the millions of medium-sized companies that employ a fifth of the German workforce and focus on niche products that command premium prices around the world. These family-run businesses often stretch back for generations, and form the backbone of the German economy. They not only supply Germany’s multinational corporations but many are also exporters in their own right. Tom Peters, an American writer on business management practices, said mittelstand companies were incredibly focused. “The young men and women go through the apprenticeship system and learn that the goal is excellence,” he said. There is another good reason why they thrive. And that is, The Fraunhofer Society, a network of 67 government-backed research institutes with 23,000 employees. “Fraunhofer supports an ecosystem for manufacturing innovation that has helped keep Germany an exporting juggernaut,” Sujai Shivakumar, a specialist in innovation policy at the National Academies in Washington, told The Wall Street Journal. The Fraunhofer Society provides first-rate, affordable, short-term research that smaller manufacturers would otherwise struggle to afford. These companies use the research to continually improve their processes and products – and, in doing so, stay one step ahead of the competition. “Put simply, Fraunhofer helps manufacturers bridge the valley of death, which often occurs at a stage of production development where the potential return on investment is high but equally high levels of uncertainty prevent firms from investing significantly in R&D,” said Michael Teiwes, head of PR at Fraunhofer. Over the past 10 years Professor Dr Bernd Venohr, a German management consultant, has worked with numerous world-leading, medium-sized family businesses in Germany. “They were sometimes called the ‘hidden champions’ but they are no longer hidden in an increasingly transparent global economy,” he said. He said they were successful because they understood – and believed – that sound growth and progress stemmed from real innovation, that superior value, not price, mattered to customers and that employees should be treated with respect not as ‘easily to be replaced’ resources. “These key management principles really are universal truths for any business,” he said. “But while they are easy to understand, they are not always easy to implement.” He said that his recent study showed that about 1,650 German SMEs were leaders, at least among the top three companies, in the world markets for their products. The US-based Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation said the rest of the world could learn valuable lessons from Germany. “The quality and extent of their vocational training to prepare young people for skilled manufacturing jobs is to be admired,” said Kris Bledowski, Director of Economic Studies. “Theirs is a society that prizes engineering and exact sciences as aspirational goals in education.” He does not believe Germany will be greatly affected by the economic slowdown in China. “Last year exports to China were $97 billion or about 7.2% of Germany’s overall exports,” said Kris. “Germany’s investment in China is miniscule compared to virtually any country in Europe. So, the impact will be rather small, overall.” And that comes as no surprise to Justin. “They don’t take their success for granted and I think that’s why the country is so good at focusing on the long-term,” he said, “Their hard work, efficiency and orderliness springs from a deep sense of community and responsibility towards each other.” And it is to the future they are looking. Germany has launched Industrie 4, or as it is commonly known ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, with the backing of the German government. “We want Germany to stay a globally competitive high wage economy and believe Industrie 4.0’s strategy will allow us to do it,” said Professor Henning Kagermann from the National Academy of Science and Engineering. Kris believes Industrie 4 – to create the factory of the future – was partly born out of fear of America’s digital revolution that started spilling into manufacturing. “It is fair to say that Germany’s initiative and America’s Industrial Internet concept are transatlantic cousins, albeit separated by language, traditions and business culture,” he said. “But Industrie 4.0 is strictly about Germany. There is nothing European, international, or global about this policy. German taxpayers’ money is being spent on helping domestic companies compete internationally.” He said America’s project – although based in the US – was open to anyone with a stake in the future of the industrial internet. “It is global in its reach,” he said. GERMANY’S chemical industry may still be the envy of Europe – but it has been warned not to become complacent. In a statement to the press earlier this year, German chemical trade association VCI President Marijn Dekkers said after an initially good start to the year, production had now stagnated, sales had dropped and jobs had been lost. “It is not good news and the outlook is not promising either,” he said. Germany, he said, faced several challenges including a slowdown in the global markets, the cost of raw materials and energy and Britain’s decision to become the first Member State to leave the European Union. “It is too early for an appraisal at the moment,” he said. “But the UK’s decision is likely to have negative effects.” Recent events have helped the German economy, notably the devaluation of the Euro and falling oil prices. But those were now ‘wearing off’, he said. On the face of it, though, Germany still looks good compared to the rest of the world. “We have been the world champion of exports for more than a decade, the foreign trade surplus for chemicals has been growing continuously and we are by far the major chemical industry location in Europe,” he said. “We are still acting from a position of strength. But the emphasis is on “still”. In the long run, there are more and more doubts whether Germany can defend its position as a chemical industry location.” Germany, he said, needed to ensure it did not lose its competitiveness but it was in danger of doing so due to the expansion of production plants in America and the Middle East, rising energy costs in Europe, excessive EU regulations, the loss of businesses in the value chain, a lack of investment in Germany and two few incentives for research and development. “German industry alone cannot make Germany a world champion in innovation,” he said. “We need support from the political arena. We need to work as one.” In VCI’s recent report, The German Chemical Industry in 2030, which was conducted by Prognos AG, the VCI says political decisions made today will affect future developments and investments. What it needs to grow, it said, is a climate free of bureaucracy and one that encourages innovation. “For us to further invest, a stable planning horizon is needed, especially in energy-related legislation,” said Dr Stephan Müller, Manager at INEOS Köln.

    6 minutes read Issue 11
  • Doug's cool office

    NEITHER place sounds like heaven on earth. The South Pole is the coldest, driest, remotest, windiest place on Earth. It is a lifeless, frozen desert with gusts of winds up to 90 miles an hour and is ringed by the world’s roughest seas. The North Pole is all sea ice, constantly shifting, and miserably cold. But Doug Stoup, a modern-day explorer, spends most of his life at one or the other. To him, it’s the office. “I prefer the cold because you can always put on more clothes,” he said. Last month the man, who has guided INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe and his two sons, George and Sam, to both poles, took time out from planning his next expedition to talk to the team at INEOS’ new London HQ in Hans Crescent about taking risks in life and business. “Organisation and preparation are the key to the success of any expedition,” he said. “I mitigate the risk. I can either accept the risk or turn around and walk away which I have done many times. I don’t have any problems doing that because I don’t have a death wish. Or I can transfer the risk and say ‘George, you go first.” Although many in the audience laughed, Doug went on to explain. “I don’t just sit there and watch the sky,” he said. “I watch every turn that he makes and learn from it.” For Doug, being the best in business is also about taking risks, trust, teamwork, seeking new challenges and trying to do things differently. And it’s an approach he has seen many times at INEOS. “A lot of the stuff INEOS does has a lot to do with pushing boundaries, and taking calculated risks,” he said. “And it is the reason the company is one of the most innovative and best in the world. I try to surround myself with a great team and so does INEOS.” Doug’s love affair with the South Pole began in 1999 when he was in his early 30s. “As a boy I never thought I would set foot in those places,” he said. “My dream was to climb and ski the highest mountain in Antarctica. But it was just a dream.” Inspired, though, by the likes of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Captain Scott and Sir Douglas Mawson, he realised it was possible if he wanted it badly enough. “I realised you can do anything you want to do if you put productive growth towards that dream,” he said. In 1999, as he stepped off the plane on to an ice runway, he was overwhelmed. “I just looked out over this vast nothingness,” he said. “I fell in love with the place and really could not wait to get back.” During that first trip to the South Pole, he also discovered he was able to help others. Ever since then he has been guiding people to the ends of the earth - both for pleasure or in the pursuit of scientific discovery. Many of his companions are CEOs. “They understand risks because they run their own worlds and make decisions every day but any experience they have in the business world really doesn’t apply in the Antarctic,” he said. “Money doesn’t apply either.” What matters is that they are willing to listen, learn quickly, and prepare for what lies ahead – both mentally and physically. “The only thing they cannot imagine is the cold,” he said. “And they will only understand that when they actually get there. You can perspire so much that your goggles freeze to your face.” To prepare for his epic adventures, Doug often gains weight, knowing he will be burning 10,000 calories a day as they cross ice that would have been water a week earlier. “You can lose 2,000 calories by just standing still,” he said. He is a great believer in the resilience of the human body. “It’s the mind that needs conquering,” he says. “If you train, you should be able to push your body to the limit. It is a mental barrier. You have to tap into that mental toughness if you want to stay one step ahead.” Doug is often asked whether he would guide an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 ft is the world’s highest mountain. But he’s not convinced it is for him. “I am not sure I could do it because there are a lot of people who really don’t belong there,” he said. “You need to know when to stop and make the right decision for you own safety. It is not always about reaching the summit at all costs.” He believes leaders in all walks of life share many qualities. Compassion, an ability to understand other people’s personalities and thinking on the run are all important, says Doug. “Strong personalities know how to adapt to both their environment and others,” he said. “To be a great leader, you also need to understand all the elements that are happening out there and take on board other people’s comments.” Apart from the cold, the floating ice, the winds, is there anything else to fear?  Yes, he says, polar bears. “They can smell a seal from eight miles away so they can certainly smell me when I have not showered in a month and a half,” he said. Despite his meticulous planning, things can go wrong. “Even as someone who has more experience of the poles than anyone on the planet, I still make mistakes,” he said. “My goggles once froze on my head, I have suffered from snow blindness and once when I broke a tooth, I had to pull it out with pliers.” Can he see himself retiring? No, he says. Not yet. The father with three sons still has too much to see and do. “Maybe one day one of them will take over from me,” he said.   MY HEROES THE three men who continue to inspire Doug Stoup all lived at the turn of the century. One died and two survived against all the odds. “They are still my mentors,” he said. “They were true men who knew how to suffer.” Sir Douglas Mawson staggered alone 165 miles back to his ship after one of his companions fell into a crevasse and the other died of food poisoning during an expedition in 1912. Captain Scott and his two remaining companions, pinned down by a storm, froze to death in their tent 150 miles from base camp after reaching the South Pole in January 1912. Three years later Sir Ernest Shackleton lived to tell the tale after his ship ‘Endurance’ became trapped in ice and sank. His crew had already abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice. The following year, Shackleton and five crew members went to find help. In a small boat, they spent 16 days crossing 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then trekked across the island to a whaling station. The remaining men from the ‘Endurance’ were later rescued. Not one member of the crew died. “They are the true heroes,” said Doug. “Once we have reached the South Pole, I call someone and they come and pick us up.”

    5 minutes read Issue 11
  • A lesson for us all

    THE world is waking up to the fact that science may well prove to be our salvation. We face dwindling natural resources and a rising population which means society must agree where our planet is heading in the 21st century. For the science of today is often the technology of tomorrow. What the world cannot quite agree on is how to convince today’s generation of young people to see science as a career. The alarm bells started ringing many years ago. The European Commission warned in 2008 that not enough young people were opting to study science, technology, engineering or maths after the age of 16 – and feared if nothing were done, there would be a shortage of highly-skilled scientists, engineers and technicians. It recommended radical changes in the way science was taught in schools, moving away from being able to reel off facts, which was largely blamed for the declining appetite for science, to a style which encouraged pupils to pose the questions and, in turn, increased their understanding. Five years later, in 2013, 100-plus delegates from 58 countries were still talking about the problem at a global conference of science academies. But Germany seems to have been trying to address the problem since 2006. Freie Universität Berlin Professor Dr Petra Skiebe- Corrette founded TuWaS! in 2006 after she had seen a similar model working wonders in Sweden. Today 144 schools in Berlin, where the campaign started, are involved. Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Communications Manager at INEOS in Köln, was one of its champions when the Chamber of Commerce brought TuWaS! to Köln in 2008. The TuWaS! programme encourages primary and secondary school children to ask questions rather than receive ready-made answers. With Anne-Gret’s passion for what could be achieved – and the financial backing of INEOS – schools quickly got involved. “We are now really seeing the impact of TuWaS!” said Anne-Gret who was invited by Professor Skiebe to speak at the 10-year TuWaS! celebration last month at the Brandenburg Academy of Science. “We have even got a logistics and storage unit for TuWaS! in Koln now.” In Germany, inquiry-based science education is now part of the curriculum in many schools, and the TuWaS! programme for children aged 6 to 12 has now been formally adopted by four of the 16 federal states in Germany. Teachers attend a one-day seminar during which they are taught the natural science and technical experiments first. They then return to the classroom, armed with a school year’s worth of experiments and the confidence to teach them. As the biggest industrial employer in Köln, INEOS is still heavily involved. “As a global chemical company, we know the importance of scientific and technological education early, and that is when they are six,” said Anne-Gret. “These partnerships help us as a company, as an industry and also as a developed industrial country to attract young people – especially girls – who are curious, enthusiastic and motivated to make the world a better place through science.” INEOS in Köln is the biggest financial supporter in the Rhineland sponsoring almost half of the 70 schools which have adopted the TuWaS! programme. INEOS employees act as ambassadors, and have so far reached more than 6,000 children. “INEOS is heavily involved but it doesn’t want to shoulder the burden completely,” said Anne-Gret. “We want more companies to help shoulder the responsibility.” But the influence of TuWaS! does not end there. Anne-Gret is now keen to introduce TuWaS! to other German-speaking countries such as Austria and Switzerland. And INEOS is now considering whether or not a similar programme could be introduced into British schools. INEOS currently sponsors the Royal Society of Chemistry’s, Chemistry Olympiad to inspire thousands of young people across the UK to take up careers in science. It would certainly be welcomed by the Royal Society and the Confederation of British Industry which jointly produced a guide for businesses and teachers in May to help them form beneficial bonds. It said businesses needed to work more closely with schools. “Most young people attribute their decision to pursue STEM subjects to an inspirational teacher, so working with teachers is the best way to secure the UK’s future STEM workforce,” said Professor Tom McLeish, chairman of the Royal Society’s Education Committee. Neil Carberry, CBI Director for employment and skills policy, said many firms did already work closely with schools in their communities, but more could always be done to inspire pupils to pursue these critical subjects. “Many industries rely on a supply of science talent, at both graduate and technician level, but shortages are appearing that will hold our economy back,” he said. Whatever happens in the UK, INEOS will continue to support the TuWaS! programme in Germany. “Our secret is all about building relationships,” said Anne-Gret. “We want to attract the best of the best, create an understanding for industry and raise our profile at the same time.”

    5 minutes read Issue 11
  • Moulding the future

    SUSTAINABILITY is fundamental to how INEOS does business. More important than that, it drives innovation. “The chemical industry isn’t always seen as being part of the solution to today’s challenges but ours is a sector that can have enormous influence on what the world does now, on the way it progresses in the future and on how to do this sustainably,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS’ Head of Energy & Innovation Policy. With a rising population, a growing pressure to use resources more efficiently, companies like INEOS have to be – and are – at the forefront of creating a society that satisfies today’s generation without compromising the needs of tomorrow’s. For INEOS, sustainability is not just about safeguarding its licence to operate in towns and cities throughout the world. It believes operating responsibly and reliably is the only way for it to grow. “For us it is a business decision,” said Kevin McQuade, CEO of INEOS Styrolution. “It is our lever for growth.” His business recently published its first quantitative GRI G4 report on sustainability, which complies with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the acknowledged benchmark reporting standard in this field. “Sustainability has become increasingly important all over the world,” said Petra Inghelbrecht, Global Sustainability Manager at INEOS Styrolution. “Looking for new products and new ways of doing things that overcome the technical challenges of sustainability keeps our business one step ahead.” INEOS Styrolution is a market leader in styrenics, its business helps to shape what’s happening in the outside world. “Styrenics are all around us,” said Kevin. “We depend on them to make everyday life more colourful so when we look to the future, we see so many exciting opportunities to work alongside our customers in jointly developing sustainable solutions.” Styrenics are durable, lightweight, waterresistant, long-lasting and recyclable and can be found in fridges, washing machines, televisions, cars, buildings, toys, sports equipment, packaging and health care products. As such, the opportunities to make a real difference - and have an impact on society – are huge. INEOS as a company is a known trendsetter in joining forces with business partners to form industrial clusters. Together with local third parties it often shares resources and utilities and creates industrial symbiosis. “It goes to the very heart of corporate sustainability,” said Greet. Like many of INEOS’ businesses, INEOS Styrolution already works hand in hand with many leading institutes and scientists and partners to develop new, innovative solutions. One such partner is the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Professor Hans-Werner Schmidt, who works in the university’s Department of Macromolecular Chemistry, said INEOS Styrolution’s approach was different to most corporations. “It goes well beyond traditional corporate sponsoring of a university chairman or graduate research,” he said. “It is a pioneer in its approach to R&D concepts and partnerships, like ours with INEOS Styrolution, prove it.” Norbert Niessner, Director of Global R&D and Intellectual Property, said these collaborative efforts and partnerships were vital. “We see our partnerships as a way to steadily grow our innovation pipeline in both size and value, especially when it comes to creating styrenics solutions that contribute to a sustainable future,” he said. All these developments, though, are carried out with safety for all – both inside and outside the company – very much in mind. “Chemical products, such as styrene, can involve risks when not handled properly so safety is rightly at the heart of our business,” said Kevin. INEOS Styrolution is also proud of the work it is doing to reduce its impact on the environment. In its report, it highlighted its decision to install a state-of-the-art closed cooling water system at its North American polystyrene production plant in Decatur, Alabama. The system, which meant the same water could be repeatedly used to cool down strands in the strand bath, more than halved the site’s water consumption. It also championed its decision to install four new heat exchangers at the Texas City styrene monomer plant which saved the equivalent amount of energy needed to power 138,500 cookers. “The investment resulted in a 55 ton reduction in CO2 per day,” said Tim Brown, Technology Manager Global Styrene Manufacturing. Industry leaders from more than 100 countries currently rely on INEOS Styrolution’s styrenics products. “They do business with us because we always strive to offer them the best solution,” said Kevin. “We help them to be more innovative and more efficient than their competitors to manufacture products at a lower cost.”

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Man and Machine in perfect harmony

    IT is regarded as one of the most brutally challenging cycle races in the world. But while the riders’ determination to win the Tour de France may not have changed over the past 113 years, the technology certainly has. Italian-born Maurice Garin won the first race on a red, white and blue Tricolour bike and pocketed 20,000 French francs. Victory, though, seemed somewhat bitter-sweet. “I suffered on the road,” he said after crossing the finishing line on July 19, 18 days after setting off from a café in Montgeron on the outskirts of Paris. “I was hungry, I was thirsty and I was sleepy. I cried between Lyon and Marseille.” This year’s favourite to win the world’s biggest bike race was Team Sky’s Chris Froome, who grew up in Kenya where he used to sell avocados off the back of his bike for pocket money. He was determined to win – and that he did, in impressive style, when he rode triumphantly into Paris on Sunday July 24 in the famous yellow jersey and became the first Briton to win three Tour de France titles. He – and his supporters - had suffered a slight scare on day 19 of the 21-day race when he slipped on a treacherous wet descent 10km from the line, crashed and had to borrow teammate Geraint Thomas’ bike to the finish. “I lost a bit of skin obviously and banged my knee a bit,” he said after finishing. “But I was just grateful that I had got that four-minute advantage to play with. It gave me a breathing space.” Froome’s winning bike was the DOGMA F8, a revolutionary machine designed by Pinarello to literally slice through the air. “When you push on the pedals, the power goes straight through the bike,” he said after testing it for the first time in Nice, France. “It does not flex. It does not move. Whatever power you are putting into the pedals, goes on to the road.” What made this bike so incredibly light, yet strong, was Pinarello’s decision to use Toray’s new T11001K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology. To the layman, it is the carbon fibre that Boeing is using in its state-of-theart 787 fleet. “Using this we were able to increase the stiffness by 12% while reducing the frame weight by 120 grams to 860 grams (1.9lbs),” said a spokesman for Pinarello. Toray, the world number one in the manufacture of carbon fibre, said Pinarello was the only bike brand to be using it. “In designing the DOGMA F8, one of our objectives was to raise the bar yet again,” said CEO Fausto Pinarello. “We wanted to improve on the improvements we made to Chris Froome’s last bike.” The DOGMA 65.1 had been the most titled bike on the planet and universally recognised as a benchmark in the world of high-end road bikes. All that changed as Froome became the first man since Miguel Indurain in 1991 to successfully defend his title. He believes that man and machine have never been more compatible. “It doesn’t matter how many wind tunnel tests we do, the ultimate test remains with the rider,” said the spokesman. “He is the one who will live, fight and sweat on the bike.” INEOS, as the company which supplies Toray with acrylonitrile, the core ingredient needed to make carbon fibre, was also watching with interest.

    3 minutes read Issue 11
  • The fight for survival

    ONE of the pillars of the European economy – and society’s best chance of creating tomorrow’s low carbon economy – could be in danger of collapse. INEOS fears Europe’s policymakers want the impossible – and won’t get it without listening to industry. “It really is becoming a strangling reality to work in Europe as an energy-intensive industry,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS Manager of Cleantech Initiatives. “The petrochemical industry has helped Europe to grow into one of the most industrialised and wealthy regions in the world. It is a ‘pocket of prosperity’. But with a stroke of the pen, literally, the European Commission is writing its own death sentence.” The problem is this. Energy-intensive industries are already operating under intense pressure in Europe due to spiralling energy costs compared to America, the Middle East and China. Burdensome EU initiatives to cut emissions are another increasing area of concern. Combined, they threaten the very existence of the chemical industry in Europe – and are at odds with the EU’s goal of raising manufacturing’s GDP contribution to 20% by 2020. “Europe is currently at risk of losing its strong manufacturing base, never mind reaching the 20% manufacturing share of GDP target,” said Dr Peter Botschek, CEFIC’s Director of Energy and Climate Action. “The EU’s policy framework needs to enable, not penalise, efficient manufacturing growth.” Among the latest reforms to alarm Europe’s chemical industry is the EU’s flagship plan for cutting carbon, the Emissions Trading Scheme which is aimed at big business. Cefic is the organisation that represents 29,000 large, medium and small chemical companies in Europe. It said the chemical industry already had a long track record of improving its energy and resource efficiency, all of which had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 54% since 1990 despite a 70% increase in production. And it had achieved them through investment and innovation. “That innovation is crucial and will be indispensable to ensure further improvements and develop breakthrough technologies to create a low carbon and energy efficient European chemical industry,” said its president Kurt Bock. “A thriving chemical industry is an essential part of the solution for the challenge of climate change and a key driver for achieving the EU’s objectives regarding jobs, economic growth and investment.” Critics say the newly-proposed EU reforms are fundamentally flawed and would ultimately penalise the most efficient companies. “It just makes no sense,” said Dr Botschek. “Companies that already meet the highest standards cannot do any more. Yet by 2025 even the most efficient undertakings will have to buy allowances for their own growth. The best performers will not be rewarded but will be burdened with undue carbon costs.” He said those higher carbon costs would inevitably erode margins and hinder the industry’s ability to provide a sufficient return on investments in the long-term. And there is already evidence of that. Despite increasing global demand for chemicals, China now holds the top ranking in worldwide chemicals sales, a position once held by Europe. “It should be acknowledged that investments in production facilities are made for the long-term,” said Dr Botschek. “Energy-intensive industries faced with the promise of a substantial long-term increase in their energy costs will think twice before making these decisions.” He said the best way for the EU to encourage investment in low-carbon technologies was to create a more competitive environment for industry so it had money to invest. “Energy-intensive industries cannot pass their carbon costs to consumers without losing market share to their non-EU competitors,” he said. If the EU continued to act unilaterally, he argued, it would make non-EU countries a more attractive place to invest, lead to job losses and stifle growth in Europe. Furthermore such actions could lead to higher emissions in companies that are less efficient than those within the EU. The chemical industry is not the only one worried by what’s on the horizon. European steelmakers are also calling for the Commission to ensure its post-2020 proposals to change the Emissions Trading System do not lead to unfair costs which their global competitors don’t face. According to a recent study, the proposed reforms could cost the steel industry alone about €34 billion. INEOS has been lobbying whoever will listen in an attempt to galvanise support against the proposed reforms which it believes will cost its European businesses more than €1 billion. Energy Intensive does not mean energy inefficient. “The industry is already highly efficient and changing European laws will not change the laws of physics,” said Greet. “Any further reduction in our emissions and energy use is only possible via relocated production, which does nothing to reduce global emissions. Unfortunately, the European Commission seems to operate in a growingly decoupled way from the industrial reality.” INEOS wants to work with policymakers during the ordinary legislative procedure to improve the Commission’s carbon leakage proposals. CEFIC is also working actively with the Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries, which represents over 30,000 European companies and four million jobs, towards a fair and efficient reformed ETS to enable the most efficient companies to grow in Europe. “Global demand for chemical products is predicted to double by 2030 with much of this growth being in Asia,” said Kurt. “Therefore, the question for policymakers is: ‘What part can EU legislators play in helping to ensure chemical products are continued to be produced in the EU?’”   What does the future hold? THE European chemical industry is one of the few European manufacturing sectors that is still truly a world leader. It employs 1.16 million people, exports goods worth €140 billion, and is the foundation for the wider manufacturing sector. But it is losing ground as it prices itself out of global markets. Figures show that the chemical industry’s global market share has fallen from 32% in 1993 to 17% in 2014 when it became a net importer of petrochemicals for the first time due to falling exports and increased imports from Asia. “Worryingly for the future, investment has stagnated in Europe over the past decade, while increasing tenfold in China and almost fourfold in the USA due to the shale gas boom,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS Manager of Cleantech Initiatives. CEFIC said Europe must remain competitive if policymakers wanted it to continue being innovative. Climate change policy leadership in Europe, it said, should not come at the expense of losing industry to another country with less stringent regulations, arguing that it would actually lead to an increase in global carbon emissions and funds for much-needed innovation would dry up. “European deindustrialisation is not and should never be seen as a viable option on the journey to decarbonisation,” said a spokesman.

    5 minutes read Issue 11
  • Caring for our communities

    AS INEOS has grown, so too has its responsibility towards those who live and work close to its manufacturing sites. It believes its licence to operate complex, potentially hazardous petrochemical plants hinges on how it is perceived in the community. “We do not operate in a vacuum,” said Kevin McQuade, CEO of INEOS Styrolution. “Our responsibility does not end at the company gates. We want to be a good and valued neighbour and maintain people’s trust.” Each of INEOS’ sites has a co-ordinated approach to building and strengthening relationships with those who live, work and play nearby. Regular community forums at some of its sites, including Köln in Germany and at Grangemouth in the UK, give the public the opportunity to listen to INEOS’ plans for the future, ask questions and air any concerns. “We try to explain ourselves using clear and non-technical language. Because we have built up a good long-term relationship over the years, people are reassured. They may sometimes not like to hear what we have to tell them, but it is important we explain the context” said David East, Communications Manager at INEOS’ site in Grangemouth. Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Head of Communications at INEOS Köln, said the regular meetings at the Köln plant with representatives of the Köln-Worringen Community Forum were always constructive, open and honest. “They enable us to provide updates on our business and introduce plans for the future,” she said. “But more importantly they provide a platform for local people to ask questions.” In addition to the regular forums, both Grangemouth and Köln host ad-hoc meetings if specific issues need to be discussed, and Köln invites local people to tour the site by bus every month to see for themselves exactly how INEOS operates. Talking to local communities about what INEOS is doing and planning matters to both sides. “We take our role in society very seriously,” said Christine Schönfelder, Vice President Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, Advocacy and Change Management at INEOS Styrolution. “We want to be a trusted part of the community where we operate.” INEOS Upstream – INEOS’ newest business – is currently talking to communities in England about its plans to explore parts of the UK for shale gas. “It is a very controversial and contentious issue,” said Tom Pickering, INEOS Shale, “But we want to show the community that we do understand they might be worried, we do care and we will listen.” Being a trusted part of the community does matter a great deal to INEOS – and that’s why you will often find INEOS employees helping charities, competing in sporting events or helping to develop and educate young people. Many of INEOS’ sites also work alongside schools and colleges to promote a healthy interest in science, technology and engineering – and, in doing so, hopefully inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. “As a successful company, we want to give something back to society,” said Christine. “The way we do our business is as important as the business we do. Operating with integrity and with ethical standards is our way of doing business.” INEOS businesses and sites have embraced social media which has opened up new channels of communication with the wider community. They are using the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a way to inform local communities and, just as importantly, receive feedback. “Because of its immediacy, social media is a great way to respond to events where speed is of the essence,” said Anne-Gret. “In these circumstances it enables us to gain trust and establish ourselves as the single point of authoritative information.” Grangemouth’s Community Liaison Group, which includes local councillors, police officers and the local head teacher, used to meet four times a year but decided, amongst themselves, to cut it down to two. “For us, it will always be a wonderful opportunity to speak face-to-face with representatives from the local community, share our plans, be open and honest about our performance and to hear their views and thoughts,” said David. “It helps that we have members who have been members of the group for a long time, and many who are ex-employees. It’s all about building and maintaining relationships.” But it’s not just about communication. INEOS’ successful, worldwide GO Run For Fun campaign aimed at inspiring tomorrow’s generation to be active and its work in German primary and secondary schools through TuWas! are equally as important. “All these things will certainly shape our profile as a trustworthy, sustainable and honest company for many years to come,” said Anne-Gret.

    5 minutes read Issue 11
  • Just the job

    MANUFACTURING is becoming ever more complex and highly-skilled employees are becoming increasingly sought after. The problems are global and well documented; the action and solutions less so. In April last year Michael Collins, President of MPC Consulting, told Industry Week magazine that it was time to act. “We have done enough ‘shortage of skills’ surveys,” he said. “We know what kind of skills and training programmes are needed. It is time for corporations to quit stalling and make the commitment to long-term training by seeing it as an investment, not an expense.” As a company, which needs a continuous supply of highly-skilled, highly-disciplined and motivated employees to survive, INEOS has always believed in the importance of training and development, and knows it cannot afford to wait for government initiatives to solve the deepening crisis. And it is a deepening crisis. In America, a looming shortage of skilled workers could cut short its manufacturing renaissance. “Over the next decade, nearly 3½ million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled,” said a spokesman for US-based Manufacturing Institute. “But two million of those jobs are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap.” In a poll conducted last year by the Foundation of Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, 52% of American teenagers said they had no interest in manufacturing, seeing it as a ‘dirty, dangerous place that requires little thinking or skill’. The UK fared no better. In October the UK-based Manufacturing Institute said teachers needed to understand that manufacturing was a good career. “We are in the middle of a war for talent and it is concerning to see that this is beginning to hold manufacturing businesses back,” said Chief Executive Dr Julie Madigan. “Just to stand still, UK manufacturing will need hundreds of thousands of recruits in the next 10 years.” In March this year business group EEF also highlighted the problem, saying Britain’s manufacturers were struggling to recruit skilled workers and keep pace with global technology. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Companies, like INEOS, are fighting back. And winning. At INEOS Köln in Germany, O&P in the US and Grangemouth in Scotland, successful apprenticeship schemes are reaping real results. Germany is perhaps the country that has been making real headway. “People who get a job here say they feel like they have won the lottery,” said Dr Anne- Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Head of Communications at INEOS Köln. “We take care of our people and we don’t have a problem recruiting. We don’t need to spend a lot on advertising. We don’t worry about the future but we are not complacent either.” Andreas Hain, head of apprentice training at the German site, said every year about 1,800 young people applied for about 60 jobs. All are asked to take part in an online questionnaire. From those almost 500 are invited in and interviewed for at least an hour each. “We do invest a lot of time and effort,” said Anne-Gret. “But this is a high investment so we need to get it right, because if they start working for us, they stay. We have quite a lot of people who have been here for 45 years.” Once INEOS has chosen its 60 apprentices – and all are likely to be highly motivated, enthusiastic, openminded souls with an interest in their communities – they are treated as part of the INEOS family. “We take care of them from the moment they come in,” said Anne-Gret. The apprentices learn on the job and attend the college on site. All the teachers are ex-workers. “It means we can mould them in the way we want and bind them together in the company,” said Anne-Gret. “We want them to understand the company’s culture.” Finding people who understand a company’s culture and ethos – and practise it by example – is key to any organisation that wants to grow and prosper in today’s competitive world. In 2008 INEOS joined forces with Forth Valley College and Heriot Watt University in Scotland to launch its five-year modern apprenticeship scheme Engineers of the Future. The scheme, which was modelled on the success of INEOS’ Köln site, combined a full university education with relevant, workplace experience. “The concept of work experience placements, as part of a university education, was nothing new but the thinking behind it, was,” said Robin Westacott, director of the Engineers of the Future programme. The work experience created ‘work ready’ graduates familiar with the site’s processes and procedures, and focus on safety. “We want them to understand INEOS’ culture so that when they go down to the site to do their on-site training, that culture is already embedded,” said Kenny MacInnes, deputy head of engineering at Forth Valley College. Jennifer Prentice, Duncan Paterson and Mark Skilton were among the first graduates to complete the bespoke course. All now work full-time for INEOS. “The quality of these graduates showed clearly that the rationale for the programme had been fully achieved,” said Gordon Milne, Operations Director at INEOS Grangemouth. “They set the bar very high.” INEOS Olefins & Polymer USA’s college recruiting campaign is also paying dividends. It has been so successful that it has effectively helped the business to establish a ‘talent pipeline’ for the future. “We have been able to bring in and develop some terrific people who, have and will, continue to contribute to our company’s success today and in the future,” said HR Director Sam Scheiner.

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Universal appeal

    INEOS’ simple campaign to get children fit by encouraging them to run for fun has reached yet another milestone. This summer more countries than ever have hosted GO Run For Fun events, the latest being Italy and Norway. “It really does now have a truly international feel,” said Ursula Heath, INEOS Group Communications Officer, who works on the campaign. So far more than 220 events have been hosted in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, America, Belgium, France and the UK with the £1.5 million donation set aside by INEOS when it launched the campaign three years ago. At the time founder INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe said his target was to reach 100,000 children. “We smashed that target months ago,” said Ursula. “But our reach is still growing, and we’re not about to give up now. If anything our ambitions have got bigger.” Although INEOS’ original donation is drawing to an end, with the growing appetite for getting children outside and running for their health and wellbeing, the GO Run For Fun team is excited about the possibilities for the future. “We are continuing to stage these high energy, hugely popular fun runs but we’re increasingly looking to work closer with schools to provide the motivation and materials to teach healthy active living all year round,” said Ursula. The team is now headed up from within INEOS by John Mayock, a former Olympic athlete who has staged nationwide school sports programmes. “The GO Run For Fun campaign has gone from strength to strength,” he said. “We now have more countries, more children, countless events and have won the support of more than 150 world-class sporting ambassadors.” Numerous sponsors are supporting the campaign and negotiations with potential partners to help fund the campaign will continue. INEOS will also continue to support former Scottish headteacher Elaine Wyllie’s ground-breaking Daily Mile initiative, which is growing apace, by working closer with participating schools. “The two campaigns not only share a similar goal, but complement each other,” said Ursula. The Daily Mile encourages children to get into the habit of running by taking part in a mile-long run in school every day. GO Run For Fun is the big event – the one that inspires children to give it their all. “GO Run For Fun is like a circus when it comes to town,” said John. “And it leaves a lasting impression on the kids.” But both share a similar ethos and vision. “Children are encouraged to enjoy running, no matter their speed, ability or experience,” said Ursula. “And that’s the reason why both these campaigns will have a positive impact on the activity levels and health of the next generation.” With Jim Ratcliffe’s vision buoyed by the success of the campaign so far, the next era of GO Run For Fun is going to be an exciting one to watch.   CHAMPION! ZAK CANNOT BELIEVE HIS LUCK AS days go, July 14 was quite a day in nine-year-old Zak Schuster’s life. The Swiss schoolboy had stopped off at London’s Olympic Stadium with his parents in the hope of seeing where athletes Mo Farah and Usain Bolt had won gold medals in the 2012 London Games. But instead he stumbled across INEOS’ GO Run For Fun event which was being staged inside the iconic venue for the very first time in the hope of inspiring British children to run for fun. Zak’s mum Janet asked if he might take part. “We don’t normally accept late entries but we could not refuse him,” said Ursula Heath. Zak was given a spare number, one of the charity’s trademark pink T-shirts and lined up with 4,000 other children ready to run the 2km race. “He was so excited,” said Janet. As the gun went off, the young runner, who is the Swiss Group of International Schools’ cross country champion, led the charge, eventually crossing the line first, and breaking the tape. “That moment is something he will never forget,” said Janet. Later the schoolboy, who has had a passion for running since he was five, met former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson and athletes Richard Kilty and Emilie Diamond. Zak’s mum, Janet, who teaches PE at a Swiss international school, said he could not believe his luck. “He is still talking about it,” she said. “In fact we all are. The whole event was just so inspiring and meeting some sporting heroes was the icing on the cake. They could not have been nicer. They took time to chat with him, posed for photographs and signed his T shirt.” As the signatures on his T-shirt eventually fade, the memories won’t. “This will have a huge impact on his running,” said Janet. More than 160,000 children throughout the world have now taken part in one of INEOS’ GO Run For Fun event.

    5 minutes read Issue 11
  • Why INEOS is a good investment

    INVESTORS have grown to love INEOS as the company itself has grown over the past 17 years. On the face of it, it’s understandable. It has risen from humble beginnings in 1998, when it employed 400 people and turned over £200 million, to become a company employing 17,000 people across 67 sites in 17 countries with global sales of a cool $40 billion. “To our investors we have become a ‘must have’ investment,” said Peter Clarkson, Head of Investor Relations at INEOS. “INEOS bonds can be found in the portfolios of most managed funds because it has continued to provide investors with an excellent return, and consistently meets and exceeds its promises time after time.” But to really understand why the appetite to share in INEOS’ success is growing, you have to look beyond the balance sheet, impressive though it is. For what INEOS has become an expert at is turning unwanted, inefficient businesses back to profit where others have simply failed. And that is down to the way the company is run. “Many of the old blue-chip companies manage by committee, but that doesn’t happen in INEOS,” said Peter. “People, even new graduate employees, are given clear individual responsibility, and report to a very focused business board, who can make major decisions very quickly.” INEOS actively encourages its staff to think like owners and spend money as if it were their own. “INEOS is different,” said Peter. “The underlying mood is always restless. INEOS is always looking for opportunities and that is good news for anyone wanting to invest.” As a company, INEOS thinks big. It dreams the impossible. But, more importantly, it makes things happen. At this year’s annual investor days in London and New York, Peter detailed some of the initiatives – big and small – that continued to give INEOS its well-deserved reputation as a company that was comfortable taking calculated risks. He talked about INEOS’ ground-breaking decision to buy 12 North Sea gas fields for £490 million while all around seem to be selling up. He spoke about the incredible ships, which are now bringing low-cost ethane from America to Norway – and soon Scotland – to give INEOS’ European gas crackers the edge over its competitors. “We are very comfortable with where we are, but there is much more we can do,” he said. The investors – and there were almost 200 at this year’s investor days – are keen to hear INEOS’ views of the market, its predictions for the price of oil, and in particular naphtha, which it uses to feed some of its crackers, the impact of low-cost US shale gas and what major projects are planned. “They usually want to know about anything and everything that has a major influence on our cash flow,” said Peter. What investors have discovered is that a year in the life of INEOS is never dull. For INEOS Group, INEOS Styrolution and INOVYN, 2015 proved to be a record year thanks to favourable markets due, in part, to the failure of its competitors. INEOS capitalised on that by running its plants hard, maximising the high margin business that was to be had. “Everyone knows that the global petrochemical industry’s assets are ageing and becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain,” said Peter. “But we are good at maintaining our assets in a safe and reliable condition, whilst controlling capital expenditure. The reliability factor has really paid dividends over the past couple of years.” INEOS’ cracker in Koln, Germany, for instance, is 99% reliable despite its age. “It is like a well-cared for Mercedes with 100,000km on the clock,” said Peter. When money is spent, it is spent wisely on projects that will make money for INEOS to invest elsewhere. “The projects are always well targeted and cost-effective,” said Peter. “Even the smaller projects add value.” INEOS has worked hard to ensure investors are treated as part of the team. Every week all investors and analysts are sent a market update with a summary of what has been happening in all of INEOS’ major markets. “It is very unusual in the world they invest in but we believe they value that transparency,” said Peter. “It also helps to reduce the amount of time needed to renegotiate and secure better interest rates when we launch new bonds. Investors often feel they don’t need to attend an investor day because they understand the company so well.” That openness means a bond refinancing deal can now be done in days instead of weeks. “We have absolutely no trouble selling our debt because of our reputation,” said Peter.

    4 minutes read Issue 11
  • Styrenics sell-off

    INEOS has agreed to sell one of its businesses to a Polish company for €80million. Its expandable polystyrene business INEOS Styrenics will soon be run – subject to approval – by Synthos, one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland. Expandable polystyrene is heavily used to package goods and also by the construction industry to insulate homes and offices because it is light, strong and long-lasting. Tomasz Kalwat, CEO of Synthos, said the acquisition would ensure expandable polystyrene remained the insulation material of choice for its customers. INEOS Styrenics currently makes EPS, as it is known, at two manufacturing sites in France and one in the Netherlands. Research, development and product testing is carried out at a purpose-built site in the Netherlands, which is also home to the business’ customer service team and its logistics and finance staff. Synthos, whose headquarters are in Oświęcim, was the first European manufacturer of emulsion rubbers and is a leading manufacturer of polystyrene. INEOS Styrenics is a part of the INEOS Enterprises portfolio of business. INEOS Enterprises’ job is to actively seek market opportunities to acquire, develop and sell chemical businesses.  

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • Green light for new US plant

    INEOS has given the final backing for a new world-scale plant to be built near Houston in Texas. When it becomes operational in November 2018, the plant will produce 420,000 tons of linear alpha olefins (LAOs) every year – 20% more than INEOS Oligomers had originally planned. The decision to increase production at INEOS’ Chocolate Bayou site has been driven by America’s shale gas boom, which has slashed the cost of energy and raw materials, and customer demand. LAOs are used in a huge range of products including shampoos, packaging, pipes, tyres and agrochemicals. The new plant will also help INEOS’ growing polyalphaolefin business because it will make the raw materials the business needs to manufacture high performance synthetic lubricants. The wind industry relies on these high viscosity oils to improve the performance and reliability of wind turbine gearboxes. In the past the industry has been plagued by gearboxes failing, leading to a loss of production. INEOS Oligomers is already the world’s largest producer of PAOs but this latest investment represents a major step forward in the company’s ambitious growth plans for its LAO business. By the end of 2018 the global LAO production capacity of INEOS Oligomers, which has other plants in Canada and Belgium, will be about one million metric tons a year.

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • Jim’s £25 million gift to business school

    INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe has donated £25 million to the London Business School where he earned his MBA. The money will secure the future of the Regent’s Park building for the next 125 years. “I owe a lot to the London Business School,” said Jim. “It is one of the best business institutions in the world.” Jim obtained his MBA in 1980 while working for Exxon Chemicals as a chemical engineer. Eighteen years later he founded INEOS which is now one of the biggest petrochemical companies in the world with 17,000 employees and sales of more than $54 billion. Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean at the London Business School, described the donation as ‘incredibly generous’. “This will mean that future generations of students will have the benefit of studying in one of London’s most beautiful and historically important buildings,” he said. As a thank you, the London Business School has also named its main Nash terraced building as The Ratcliffe.

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • INEOS acquires WL Plastics

    INEOS O&P USA has acquired a company that is reaping the benefits of America’s shale gas boom. It has acquired 100% of the shares of WLP Holding Corp, one of the largest and fastest-growing high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe manufacturers in North America. Pipes, which are made from HDPE, don’t leak or rust and, if properly designed and installed, don’t need maintaining for 100 years. As such, they are in demand from oil and gas producers. “The growth in HDPE pipe for oil and gas really did explode with the development of shale oil and gas exploration,” said Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS O&P USA. But INEOS sees other avenues for growth as US cities grow and need to replace ageing sewage and water systems. “The unique properties of strength, flexibility, weight and durability along with ease of handling make HDPE pipes the perfect choice,” said Dennis. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company currently produces HDPE pipes at plants in Kentucky, South Dakota, Utah, Texas, and Wyoming with one in Georgia currently being built. “We are very pleased to have acquired this business,” said Dennis. “It is well-positioned to serve the growing North American pipe market and will complement our existing portfolio of olefins and polymer products.” Mark Wason, CEO of WL Plastics, said INEOS and WL shared a similar ethos. “We are both committed to safety, quality, manufacturing excellence and customer service,” he said. He believed INEOS would help WL Plastics to strengthen its position in the market place.

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • INEOS Styrolution makes its first acquisition

    INEOS Styrolution, already viewed as a global leader in styrenics, has signed a deal that further strengthens its position in the world. It has bought the global K-Resin® styrene-butadiene copolymers (SBC) business of current JV owners Chevron Phillips Chemical and Daelim Industrial Company. The plant is located in Yeosu Petrochemical Complex, the largest petrochemical complex on the southern coast of South Korea. CEO Kevin McQuade said the acquisition – INEOS Styrolution’s first – would strengthen its ability to offer specialty styrenics products to its customers, and increase its production capacities in Asia. “Our customers will benefit from our ability to supply and support their worldwide demand from our expanded geographic footprint, with SBC manufacturing and research and development centres in all major regions,” he said. INEOS Styrolution currently employs about 3,100 people and operates 15 production sites in nine countries. K-Resin® SBC and INEOS Styrolution’s existing SBC brands Styrolux® and Styroflex® complement each other well. The combined business will offer a broad selection of SBC products to customers across the globe. The acquisition, once completed, also underlines INEOS Styrolution’s commitment to focus on measures that will expand its footprint in higher-growth industries, styrenic specialties, and emerging markets.

    2 minutes read Issue 11
  • Why shale gas from the US still works with $30 oil

    THE collapse in oil prices does not trouble INEOS, which has just invested $2 billion to transport US shale gas to Europe. Tom Crotty, INEOS’ Group Communications Director, said outsiders had questioned the viability of importing US gas when oil prices were now so low. But he said it did not matter because INEOS owned both gas and oil crackers. “For us, the fact that we’ve now got much lower oil prices hasn’t impacted the viability of bringing that gas in from America at all,” he said. “Instead, it has improved the profitability of our oil-based crackers.” Tom said there had been some ill-informed commentary. “Some have said that companies like INEOS must be mad to bring in ethane from the US when oil prices are so low but they are missing the point,” he said. “If you’ve got a gas cracker, you cannot use naphtha. You have to use gas. So the issue is not one of gas versus naphtha. It’s gas versus gas.” The availability of low-cost ethane, a natural gas derived from shale gas, has revitalised America’s chemical industry and given it an advantage over many competitors around the world which rely on naphtha, a more expensive oil-based feedstock. But with the collapse in oil prices, that advantage has narrowed. “The European petrochemical industry has done very, very well as a result of low oil prices, because the price of naphtha has fallen dramatically,” said Tom. “So margins have come back into naphtha crackers big time. If you’ve got both types of crackers, like us, then you have reason to feel very happy.” INEOS, which relies on ethane gas for its crackers in Norway and Grangemouth, said it was still cheaper to import gas from the US than buy it in Europe. “The other issue is that we cannot get gas in Europe,” said Tom. “Our Grangemouth cracker has been running at 40% output for the past three years because we haven’t got ethane. Ethane is running out fast in the North Sea. So your choice there is really simple. You need to either run a cracker or you don’t.” MOTHBALLED UNIT TO REOPEN A MANUFACTURING unit at INEOS’ Grangemouth site is to reopen eight years after it was mothballed. The plant has successfully completed rigorous recommissioning trials to prepare for the arrival of US shale gas ethane. INEOS announced the news shortly after the first shipment of US shale gas arrived at its neighbouring gas cracker in Rafnes, Norway. The first deliveries are expected at Grangemouth in the autumn. “We are now in great shape to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rate,” says Gordon Milne, INEOS Grangemouth Operations Director. INEOS was left with no option but to close the second manufacturing unit at the KG ethylene cracker in 2008 after it could not operate it at full capacity. The arrival of US ethane changes everything. “When the gas finally arrives here, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants,” said Gordon. The US liquid gas will be stored in a specially built ethane tank – the biggest in Europe – and make up for dwindling North Sea supplies.

    5 minutes read Issue 10
  • Who Dares Wins

    THE world has just witnessed a truly significant moment in the history of petrochemicals. Those shipments of liquefied ethane, which finally docked at Rafnes in Norway in March, will breathe life into INEOS’ European businesses. But forget the years, many million man hours and 5,000 construction workers it took to build the first two ‘Dragon Ships’ transporting this precious cargo. For those ships are just part of this incredibly inspirational story that is global in scale, breathtaking in its vision. It is also a story that many on both sides of the Atlantic had dismissed as pure fantasy. “It had never been done, and many said it couldn’t be done,” said Chad Stephens, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Range Resources, which is providing INEOS with the gas it needs. The arrival of these world-leading vessels, which were built in China, heralds a new era in the transportation of ethane gas. “Not often do you witness revolutionary moments in our industry, but this is one of them,” said Peter Clarkson, head of investor relations at INEOS. The difference this competitively-priced ethane will make to INEOS’ European petrochemical business is staggering, both in terms of energy and raw materials. INEOS will use it to power its plants as it turns it into ethylene, one of the world’s most important petrochemicals. “Shipping US ethane gas to Europe will safeguard our petrochemicals assets in Europe for many years to come,” said John McNally, CEO of INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK. The story, though, really began six years ago when INEOS dared to think the unthinkable. In 2010 Europe was reeling from the effects of the financial crisis. Energy prices were higher than ever and North Sea gas stocks were dwindling. In America, a revolution was underway. Shale gas had led to low energy and feedstock prices which had revitalised its manufacturing industry. But America had a problem. It had so much ethane that it did not know what to do with it. A plan was hatched at INEOS’ offices in Rolle, Switzerland, to create a virtual, transatlantic pipeline and bring the gas it desperately needed to secure the future of its European crackers. But how would INEOS do it? No one had attempted anything on this scale before. There was no way to get the gas from the shale wells in south western Pennsylvania to Philadelphia 300 miles away on the east coast of America. There were no export facilities in the US and no one had ever tried to ship ethane gas in such huge quantities. To INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, none of that mattered. “People said we couldn’t do it,” he said. “But at INEOS we have always believed that anything is possible.” As INEOS ploughed ahead with its ambitious plans and assembled a team of international partners, spanning three continents, others watched and waited. “The technology didn’t exist so we had to create it,” said INEOS Director Andy Currie. David Thompson, Chief Operating Officer INEOS Trading & Shipping, was the man given the task of overseeing the project. “It has quite simply been one of the biggest engineering projects in the world,” he said. “We are pioneers in this. We have been involved in the pipelines, the fractionation, the terminals, the infrastructure and the ships. We have had to do it all.” That bold, pioneering plan has now become a reality. To do it, INEOS struck 15-year deals with ethane suppliers, including Range Resources, to provide the gas, MarkWest to process the gas and Sunoco to pipe it hundreds of miles to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex where it will be cooled to minus 140 degrees Fahrenheit before being shipped to Norway and later this year Grangemouth in Scotland. There was no doubt in the minds of all those involved. This was not a problem. This was an opportunity. An opportunity to safeguard the future of businesses in Europe and breathe life back into once-thriving communities in America. In America work began to convert a former oil products pipeline to carry the ethane on most of its journey from the Marcellus Shale to Marcus Hook, a once bustling oil and gas refinery which had closed in 2011. Sunoco, which still owned the rusting refinery, began pumping billions of dollars into transforming it into a world-beating chemical production, gas storage and distribution centre to enable INEOS’ fleet of ‘Dragon Ships’ to be loaded with cargo. Elsewhere, 50 miles of new pipes were laid and a new pumping station was installed. Over in Europe, INEOS partnered with Danish shipping giant Evergas to design ships capable of such a mammoth task. “It was an enormous task but Evergas understood perhaps better than anyone else what it would take to transport ethane in the quantities sought by INEOS over the distances required,” said Chad. Evergas did indeed. “Ethane-capable vessels existed,” said CEO Steffen Jacobsen. “But Evergas, together with its many stakeholders, created the largest and most sophisticated ethane-carriers to date. That ambitious vision from INEOS and Evergas is what has made this shipping project possible.” In Hamburg, Germany, HSVA worked on an optimised hull to meet the special needs involved in transporting ethane and Wartsila in Finland invented engines that could run entirely on ethane, which not only allowed more room for cargo but would reduce harmful emissions. Once the designs were complete, Sinopacific Offshore and Engineering, one of the biggest shipbuilders in the world, was given the final piece in the jigsaw. It had to build the ships. As work began in China, TGE Gas Engineering, one of the world’s leading contractors for the engineering and project management of gas storage, began building another ethane storage tank and infrastructure at INEOS’ Rafnes site to enable it to import ethane from the North American shale gas fields. Work also began on the construction of new shipping and storage facilities to handle imports of ethane at INEOS’ Grangemouth plant. For staff at Grangemouth, after months of uncertainty, the feeling of a bright, new dawn was palpable. For just months before that loss-making petrochemical plant had been threatened with closure amid a bitter industrial dispute during which staff had initially rejected the company’s survival plan. A change of heart eventually paved the way for major investment and a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK Government which meant INEOS could raise the money it needed to build one of the largest ethane storage tanks in Europe. Once built the ethylene cracker will be able to double production. It has been a mammoth task. But as Jim stood on the bridge of the first ‘Dragon Ship’, aptly named INEOS Ingenuity, he could not disguise his delight. “It’s wonderful when a plan comes together,” he said. “And it makes you feel very proud to have accomplished something that no one has ever done before.”  

    8 minutes read Issue 10
  • A world first for INEOS

    THE North Atlantic is not a place for the fainthearted. It is a potentially hostile environment for any ship, let alone one that is carrying liquid ethane. INEOS knew that – and that is why it turned to Evergas, a world leader in gas transportation. On the surface, INEOS’ brief was simple. It needed a ship that would be capable of transporting huge quantities of liquefied ethane gas at -90°C more than 1,000 miles across a deep, cold ocean, plagued by icebergs, dense fog, 50ft waves and severe storms. And it had to do it more efficiently than had been ever done before. The answer was anything but simple. But the result was the largest, most flexible, environmentally sustainable, multi-gas carrier ever built. “There is not a ship like this in the world,” said Hans Weverbergh, Operations Manager at Danish shipping company Evergas. “There were no ships that had pressurised tanks that could carry this amount of ethane. It was something that had never been done before.” Liquid natural gas has been shipped around the world for decades. Ethane though is a different matter. It had only ever been shipped in small vessels on short routes. Crossing the Atlantic would need much bigger boats. Other companies felt it simply wasn’t viable. But INEOS saw the opportunity and had the vision to make it happen. “These vessels are truly unique,” said Evergas CEO Steffen Jacobsen who has worked in the shipping industry for 35 years. “No-one has ever tried to ship ethane in these quantities and over this distance before. To do this, we have had to invent completely new ways of doing things.” INEOS wanted the ‘Dragon Ships’ to be able to be powered by the cargo it was carrying. For that it turned to Finnish company Wärtsilä, which set a new standard in fuel flexibility. It designed dual-fuel engines which were capable of seamlessly switching between liquefied natural gas, ethane, light fuel oil or heavy fuel oil without any loss of power. “It was a technological breakthrough,” said Timo Koponen, Vice President, Flow and Gas Solutions, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. If INEOS’ engines run on ethane, there will not only be more room for cargo, but the vessels will produce 25% less CO2, 99% less sulphur dioxide and meet the International Maritime Organisation’s Tier III regulations. Each ship is also equipped with two engines to ensure the cargo gets through no matter what. The ships are the biggest ever designed of its kind. In layman’s terms each is the length of two football pitches and if you removed the cargo tanks, could hold 5,750 Mini Cooper cars. The tanks are located in the hull of each vessel, and each is capable of holding 11 swimming pools’ worth of liquefied ethane. HSVA, the German-based hull design specialists employed to maximise the efficiency of these immense vessels, tested scale models of the ships in realistic environments. The first two ships were built in a dry dock in Qidong, near Shanghai, by Sinopacific Offshore and Engineering, one of the biggest shipbuilders in the world. “SOE is one of very few companies that had the skills and construction facilities to take on the building of these massively complex vessels,” said CEO/Chairman Simon Liang. “When I actually saw those first two ships nose to nose at the dock, I thought ‘Man, these guys know what they’re doing’,” said Chad Stephens, Range Resources’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, who was invited to the naming ceremony. It was a momentous moment too for Evergas. “I felt so proud of all the people involved both internally and externally, all of whom had brought these vessels to life,” said Steffen. The naming ceremony marked another landmark in INEOS’ $2 billion global project to bring shale gas from the USA to its manufacturing plants in Norway and Scotland. INEOS is the first company in the world to opt to ship shale-gas derived ethane from America where the gas has led to a manufacturing renaissance.

    6 minutes read Issue 10
  • The gift that keeps on giving

    NO ONE could have predicted how one man’s persistence would change the course of history. But the ripple effects of engineer Nick Steinsberger’s work in the Barnett shale gas field – where, 20 years ago, he finally discovered the perfect liquid mix to extract gas from shale two miles underground – are still being felt today, not only in America, but all over the world. “I don’t quite feel as if it’s down to me and initially I never thought this would happen,” he told INCH magazine from his office in Fort Worth, Texas. “At the time I was just trying to make something work. But over time, I realised the enormity of what we had achieved and it feels good to have helped to provide the world with so much cheap gas.” This revolution – described as the most remarkable energy success story in US history – created enormous benefits in the US. For the petrochemical industry, one of the world’s biggest consumers of gas. For manufacturing which has undergone a renaissance. For communities hardest hit by the recession. And, perhaps most surprisingly of all, for the environment. Twenty years ago there were 250 wells searching for shale gas and oil in the Barnett gas field; today there are more than 200,000. For America’s petrochemical industry, the discovery of these vast, untapped reserves of shale gas has been phenomenal. “US chemical investment linked to shale gas has now topped $158 billion,” said Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council. As of January this year, 262 projects including new factories, expansions and process changes to increase capacity, had been announced. The petrochemical industry needs natural gas to heat and power its manufacturing plants. But that gas is not just a fuel for energy. It is also a raw material used to make thousands of essential products that we all rely on each day. Without it, there would be no plastic, car parts, packaging, medical supplies, tyres, glass, clothes, or iPad screens. “That’s often forgotten when we see heated debates about the merits of continuing to use gas,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS Head of Energy and Innovation Policy. “Many components of renewables, such as the blades of wind turbines and the lubricants in their gearboxes, also cannot be made without gas and oil.” And shale gas is making it a lot cheaper to do it. “The US chemical industry renaissance is just getting started,” Kevin Swift, chief economist of the American Chemistry Council, wrote in the trade group’s Year-End 2015 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook. “The fundamentals are strong. Key domestic end-use markets expanded, consumer spending accelerated, the job market began to firm, and households enjoyed extra savings from lower energy costs.” And INEOS, which has 17 manufacturing sites in the US, is sharing in that good fortune. Later this year INEOS and Sasol’s new plant at INEOS Battleground Manufacturing Complex at LaPorte in Texas is expected to start paying its way. The plant, which is a 50/50 joint venture, will be able to produce 470,000 tonnes of high density polyethylene a year for the American market. With the site expected to grow, INEOS is also poised to finalise plans to invest in a more fuel-efficient combined heat and power system which will also help to reduce CO2 emissions. In December The Boston Consulting Group published a report, Made In America, Again. “The number of companies actively moving production back to the US continues to increase,” said a spokesman. “In fact the US has surpassed China as the most likely destination for new manufacturing capacity.” Part of the reason is lower energy costs, driven by shale, coupled with rising wages in China. Apple, the world’s largest technology company, cited those reasons for its decision to manufacture its Mac Pro personal computer – described as the most powerful Mac ever built – in Texas. It is all so different to a decade ago when the US was among the most costly places in the world for plastics producers. “Today, America is one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in plastics manufacturing,” Steve Russell, ACC’s vice president of plastics, said last year. “Even after recent declines in oil prices, our nation has a decisive edge.” America is now looking to capitalise on all those investments and sell to the world, a move described by Cal Dooley last year as the ‘surest path to a stronger economy and new jobs’. Global adviser Nexant is forecasting dramatic growth in US chemical exports over the next 15 years. In its 2015 Fuelling Export Growth report, it suggested sales of $123 billion by 2030 – more than double what chemical manufacturers exported in 2014. But there is also a growing appetite among Americans for products ‘Made in the USA’. One who understands that is Harry Moser, a veteran of the manufacturing industry and former president of machine tool maker GF AgieCharmilles, who in 2010 founded Reshoring Initiative to help companies re-evaluate whether to come home, “I had watched with dismay as more and more US jobs went, at first, to Japan, then Mexico, Taiwan, Korea and finally China,” he said. “The impact on the US economy was horrible with the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs. The United States used to be the world’s industrial powerhouse, and I had grown up experiencing its glory.” Since he founded Reshoring Initiative, about 1,000 companies have come home, bringing with them almost 100,000 jobs. “I am delighted with the response of the nation and many companies,” he said. “Sadly, though, many companies are still trapped in the ‘buy at the cheapest price’ mode instead of considering the total cost. It will take decades to overcome the MBA mentality.” Apple’s decision to manufacture its Mac Pro in America was also part Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s $100 million Made-in-the-USA push. “We don’t want to just assemble the Mac Pro here,” he said. “We want to make the whole thing here. This is a big deal.” In January this year America’s oldest hatmaker Bollman announced that it was moving 41 jobs back from China to its plant in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. It had launched an appeal in November for the public’s help in raising $100,000 to import 80 knitting machines, built in 1938, that weave the fabric for its famous Kangol 504. The public took its hat off to the company’s attitude – and responded. “Reshoring is the fastest and most efficient way to strengthen the US economy because it demonstrates that manufacturing is a growth career,” said Harry. “And without manufacturing, a country becomes progressively poorer.” But it is not just industry which has benefited from low-cost feedstock and energy prices. Shale gas has revitalised communities, including some hardest hit by the recession. The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania said natural gas development had supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, contributed $34.7 billion annually to the state economy and had boosted profits in more than 1,300 businesses of all sizes up and down the energy supply chain. “Safe, responsible natural gas development has been good for the state economy, good for local economies and good for Pennsylvanians,” said Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman. “And we want to keep it that way.” At Marcus Hook, the site of a former crude oil refinery which closed in 2011 with the loss of 500 jobs, there is now a real sense of excitement. The former refinery, which had produced gasoline, diesel and kerosene for 109 years, is being transformed into a major centre for processing and shipping natural gas liquids thanks to its links with the Marcellus shale industry. “The idling of the Marcus Hook Refinery was a difficult time for the Borough of Marcus Hook, for the Sunoco family, and for the whole region,” said Hank Alexander, vice-president, business development of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. “But now the town is buzzing again, from downtown restaurants to local contractor facilities. And some of the workers who lost their jobs in 2011 are back working at the plant.” Sunoco Logistics had bought the old refinery in 2013, with the intention of linking it to the Marcellus shale, which now produces almost 20% of America’s natural gas, compared to nothing 10 years ago. Management believed the existing infrastructure for ship, rail, truck and pipeline positioned it as a hub for natural gas liquids. “We wanted to develop manufacturing enterprises that would recapture jobs and help revitalise manufacturing in the region,” said Hank. “The shale gas boom had re-animated towns such as Marcus Hook.” Mario Giambrone owns Italiano’s restaurant in Marcus Hook. “You can talk about it anyway you like in terms of the number of hoagies and pizzas but this is a godsend for this town and my business,” he told the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. David Taylor is President of that association, which is the leading voice for manufacturing in Pennsylvania. “The energy sector has almost singlehandedly kept Pennsylvania’s economy afloat during the recession and over the past few years,” he said. Developing energy from the Marcellus shale has also turned nearby Williamsport into the seventh fastest-growing metropolitan area in America. Dr Vince Matteo, President and CEO of Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Properties Corporation, said the vast majority of people locally had embraced the shale gas boom. “It was a game-changer for us,” he said. “I had never seen anything like it. At one point more than 85 businesses moved to the county, which led to the opening of countless restaurants and four new hotels.” Meanwhile, Williston, a once sleepy town in North Dakota, suddenly became the fastest-growing small city in America due to the oil boom again with new restaurants, new shops and new faces. Communities also benefited from the unexpected revenue streams from companies drilling for shale gas, which allowed them to make improvements that otherwise might not have been possible. “Having that funding source has been a tremendous boom to us,” Lisa Cessna, the executive director of the local planning commission in Washington County, just outside Pittsburgh, told The Associated Press. “It has helped build fishing piers, playgrounds and walking trails.” She told the Associated Press that there had been complaints about drilling sites on public land but said the end result outweighed the negatives. “You can make it work,” she said. “There are going to be bumps in the road. You’re going to upset some people. We insisted on special legal language that gives us control over many aspects of the drilling process. We approve every pipeline, well pad, access road. It’s labour intensive, but it’s worth it. The most important message is to maintain full control.” But one of the biggest surprises of all has been the effect of shale gas on the air we breathe with America’s CO2 emissions falling to their lowest level for 20 years in 2012. The reason? Gas, which became the fuel of choice to generate electricity instead of coal which emits twice the CO2. Despite all the benefits, though, not all – even those in incredibly high places – are championing shale gas. “President Obama’s animosity to fossil fuels prevents him from recognising the most remarkable energy success story in US history, maybe in all of world history,” said Dr Mark Perry, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and professor of economics at the University of Michigan. “But we need a president who will acknowledge it.” Dr Perry said shale oil had: Significantly reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil and petroleum from often unstable parts of the world. Helped to bring down gasoline prices and prevented the Great Recession from being even worse and lasting much longer. “Domestic energy production creates US jobs and generates royalties for landowners and tax revenues for the governments, state, local and federal,” he said. “And the drop in US gas prices to a seven-year low will save American consumers more than $100 billion in lower energy costs this year.”

    8 minutes read Issue 10
  • The $64,000 question

    FOR an atheist, Professor Peter Atkins has a great deal of faith. But his faith lies not in God, but in the chemical industry. And the important contribution it can make to today’s and tomorrow’s world. “Without the chemical industry, the world would lack colour,” he said. “We would live in Stone Age conditions, underfed, dressed in skins, without the many devices that ease our lives and entertain us. Our lives would be short and painful.” The retired chemistry professor from Oxford University in the UK says chemistry is hugely important for all of us. Its problem is that it is often misunderstood. “Most people know absolutely nothing about how the everyday products they use are made,” said Lawrence D. Sloan, President and CEO, Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates. “And having been a part of the chemical industry my entire professional life, it is extremely frustrating.” The petrochemical industry converts raw materials such as water, oil, natural gas, air, metals, and minerals into more valuable products that manufacturers then use to make – in essence – all the products we want, need and use every day. To put it into context, over 96% of everything made in the world is based on chemicals. But part of the problem for the chemical industry is that the public doesn’t view it as one of the most important industries in the world – and that’s a perception that must change. “How that can be changed remains the $64,000 question,” said Lawrence. “Our organisation, and others like it, has a major PR challenge to regularly ‘educate to advocate’ our elected officials so they understand the critical impact our industry has on society. Because not one industry contributes as much as we do to the modern world.” He described the chemical industry as the ‘unsung hero’. “Too many feel the industry bears no responsibility for the health and welfare of its employees or for the environment,” he said. “But it’s foolhardy to think the industry wants to inflict harm on itself just to try to increase its margins by an incremental percentage point or two.” At the Annual Dinner of the Chemical Industries Association, INEOS Communications Director Tom Crotty told delegates: “If government is genuinely committed to a manufacturing resurgence they need to understand that a thriving chemical industry is vital.” For it is the chemical industry’s products and technologies that are used to make everything from paints to plastics, textiles to technology, and medicines to mobile phones. But as an energy-intensive industry, it needs access to competitively-priced energy supplies if it is to survive. That is not a problem in America which is currently enjoying a manufacturing renaissance thanks to the abundant supplies of low-cost shale gas, which have driven down the cost of the raw materials that manufacturers need. But it is for Europe where energy costs are spiralling out of control, leaving manufacturers struggling to compete in global markets. Tom, who is also President of the CIA, said Britain urgently needed to address its energy base if it wanted a thriving UK chemical industry. During a recent survey of the UK’s glass and glazing industry by Pilkingtons UK, the rising cost of materials – due to energy costs – emerged as the ‘greatest obstacle’ currently facing their businesses. And it was, they said, their biggest challenge over the next two years. The importance of the chemical industry, which supplies raw materials to manufacturers, therefore cannot be underestimated. The two are linked inextricably. And it is very often where innovation starts. “Folks take for granted the incredible scientific discoveries the specialty chemical industry continues to make to help create the electronics, life-saving drugs, and smart energy homes we have come to enjoy and depend upon,” said Lawrence. INEOS, which employs 17,000 people at 65 sites in 16 countries, is proud of what it does to make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. It alone makes: Solvents that are used in the production of insulin and antibiotics. Efficient and effective biofuels to improve the sustainability of modern transport. Chlorine to purify drinking water. Synthetic oils that help to reduce CO2 emissions. Modern, strong but lightweight plastics to package, protect and preserve food and drink. Materials to insulate houses, offices, electrical and telecommunications cables. Products that have helped car manufacturers to make cars stronger and lighter and more fuel efficient, which have again helped to reduce CO2 emissions. The list goes on – as does the work behind the scenes to seek innovative solutions to many of the challenges facing society today. “Chemical products and technologies are used in almost every area of the world economy,” said a spokesman for International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the worldwide voice of the chemical industry. “And as the global economy grows, it will increase the demand for the chemical industry’s products. This growth drives product innovation, and the industry creates new products every year while striving to improve production processes and use resources more efficiently.” In 2014, American Chemistry invested $59 billion in research and development, the equivalent of more than $185 per person in the United States. “We invest more to innovate than the electronic, automobile, and healthcare industries,” said Cal Dooley, CEO and President of the American Chemistry Council. “The business of chemistry excels at continuously bringing new, imaginative and innovative ideas to market— and tomorrow will be no different.” The American Chemistry Council says, though, for its chemical industry to continue its ground-breaking work, the US must also adopt an energy strategy that takes advantage of its home-grown energy resources, including its vast reserves of shale gas. It is a view shared by Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the CIA. He wants Britain’s $50 billion chemical industry to take advantage of the energy under its feet rather than rely on imported gas. “The UK’s own shale reserves will contribute to more secure gas supplies and support jobs and growth,” he said. “Without this, gas imports are projected to reach 75% of needs by 2030. UK shale gas will help to keep the lights on while the UK makes its transition to a green economy.” As one of the world’s largest industries – in 2014 its revenues exceeded $5.4 trillion – the chemical industry has a profound effect on the world we live in and will do in the future as society strives to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable world. “Unfortunately, the word ‘green’ means different things to people,” said Lawrence. “Some may feel that no chemical plant is ‘green’ by nature of the fact that it is handling chemicals, which in their minds is bad.” The chemical industry knows that it needs to change the public’s perception if it wants them to understand where the industry fits into modern life. “Strong, competitive chemical industries underpin all great manufacturing nations in the developed world because chemicals and materials are the essential component on which manufacturing is built,” said Steve. “Without its processes and ‘building block’ products, most of the rest of manufacturing could not take place.” He said although the industry was energy-intensive, its products, in their lifetime, saved more than twice the energy it took to make them. “We are delivering the green future,” he said.

    7 minutes read Issue 10
  • Troubled Times

    FOR a nation that blazed the path to industrialisation and mass production in the 18th and 19th centuries, the truth is hard to bear. For the first time ever, the UK’s manufacturing share of the UK economy fell to 9.4% – the lowest point on record. For INEOS Founder and Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, who grew up in the industrial North of England, it troubles him greatly. “We are watching the slow death of manufacturing in this country,” he said. “We have lost half of our manufacturing in a single generation.” Twenty years ago, he said, it was on a par with Germany where manufacturing is still strong. “This seismic shift in UK manufacturing may seem like a minor tremor in ‘services rich’ London, and much of the southern counties, but it is a catastrophe in slow motion in many parts of the North of England, Wales and Scotland,” he said. In October last year the Redcar steelworks on Teesside shut down with the loss of 2,200 jobs after Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK, the plant’s Thai owners, went into liquidation. Labour MP Anna Turley described it in The Northern Echo newspaper as a ‘human and industrial tragedy’. “Steelmaking is finished on Teesside,” said one man who had worked at the plant for 30 years. In the 1970s, more than 200,000 people worked in the UK steel industry. Today there are about 30,000 but their jobs are no longer safe. In January more job cuts were announced. Tata Steel confirmed 750 job losses at Port Talbot in Wales with hundreds of others facing the axe at its plants in Scunthorpe, Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool. A flood of cheap Chinese imports – steel production is subsidised in China – the strength of the British pound, and high energy costs in the UK have been blamed. Whatever the reason, it’s a worrying trend. “If we want to arrest the decline in manufacturing, or even return to growth, we need to give corporations reasons to invest in Britain,” said Jim. “We need competitivelypriced energy, a skilled workforce, attractive taxes and a government that wants to make it happen.” He said Britain needed what the marketing men called USPs – unique selling points. “Germany has them,” he said. “It has a highly skilled workforce, it is seated in the heart of Europe and it has great manufacturing infrastructure and competent suppliers. America has cheap energy thanks to shale gas, a skilled workforce and the world’s largest market. China has growth, cheap labour and a huge market.” It is not the first time Jim has spoken out about Britain’s failure to sell itself to investors. Three years ago he warned that Britain was not an attractive place to manufacture. In an interview with Alistair Osborne, The Daily Telegraph’s business editor, he cited the high price of energy. And understandably so, given that INEOS’ Runcorn plant, which provides the chlorine for 95% of Britain’s water, consumes as much energy as the city of Liverpool. He said the UK had to look at what it had to offer if it wanted to understand why it had fallen so woefully behind the pack. “It would be nice if there was a simple crisp answer but there is not,” he said. “To maintain or grow manufacturing, one needs a constant stream of investment as plants grow old and products grow old. New plants and new products need investment.” Britain, he said, needed cheap or at least competitively-priced energy. “We cannot offer that at the moment. And, with the North Sea running out of gas, the position is likely to get worse,” he said. “But we are sitting on huge shale gas deposits which could change everything.” In the 18th century, Britain built its wealth on its coal reserves which were abundant and easily mined. And it triggered the Industrial Revolution, with Britain very much at the forefront of change. Access to cheap energy, though, is not the only thing worrying the UK’s manufacturing industry today. Jim also highlighted the need for a skilled workforce. “We used to have excellent apprenticeship schemes, Polytechnics and Technical Colleges,” he said. “But government decided all young people needed to become graduates.” That concern is shared by many. A recent survey of British manufacturers – published in the Annual Manufacturing Report 2016 – shows the shortage of skills remains their greatest fear. “To put it bluntly, our education system is failing our youngsters and, consequently, creating problems for industry,” said Callum Bentley, Editor of The Manufacturer. “No one expects a fresh-faced youngster will have the skills and experience of a veteran but this is about being poorly prepared for work and it has been going on for decades,” he said. “The longer it continues the more it will compromise our competitiveness. The gap in understanding between schools and workplaces must be bridged, for the sake of our manufacturing base and for our people themselves.” Jim said it had been ‘uplifting’ to hear talk of a Northern Powerhouse – a Government initiative to redress the North-South economic imbalance – and described the current UK Conservative government as the most pro-manufacturing for many years. But, he said, to actually make a difference, Britain needed to attract investors. “Investors can afford to be very ‘picky’ in today’s highly competitive world,” he said. “INEOS has chosen to invest much of its capital in the USA. Many other companies have chosen the Far East.” Jim called on the British Government to offer 100% capital allowances for manufacturing capital expenditure and a single digit tax rate for manufacturing. “In today’s globalised world investment decisions are always compared and contrasted with alternative locations abroad. The UK is not currently a target for manufacturing investment because it lacks USPs. It needs some.” Late last year ResPublica, an independent, nonpartisan think tank based in Westminster, said a huge increase in exports was needed to revitalise British manufacturing and move the economy away from a ‘dangerous reliance on service industries’. Director Phillip Bond said foreigners buying UK property had driven up the value of the pound, making life harder for manufacturers to export. “The recent collapse of the British steel industry has highlighted the worrying fact that our economy is over-reliant on services and external finance,” he said. “Growth needs to come from the long-neglected manufacturing sector where exports have been hit by a strong pound. Sterling has a key role to play in helping exports and we need to address the problem of unfavourable exchange rates for British business.” One who would agree with this is Jim. “Any balanced economy needs to reflect to some extent the manner in which its inhabitants spend the money in their pockets. If the inhabitants buy ‘things’ with their earnings, we need to make ‘things’ in our domestic economy. If not we have to bring all manufactured goods in from overseas and pay for them in foreign currency.” BRITAIN MUST RE-INDUSTRIALISE A FORMER journalist on the Financial Times said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe was right to be concerned about the state of manufacturing in the UK. Peter Marsh said both the steel industry and the chemical industry had faced extreme problems. “De-industrialisation – manufacturing’s shrinking share of the UK’s economic output – has gone far enough,” he said. “If we are to have sustainable economic growth and higher living standards, Britain must re-industrialise.” But Mr Marsh, a former manufacturing editor on the FT, said although Britain had lost ground, it was still a big manufacturer of niche products, such as specialist analytical instruments, and goods which it didn’t make sense to import. “That can be anything from foodstuffs to mattresses and building materials,” he said. According to the latest UN figures, Britain is the 10th biggest manufacturer in the world, making just under 2% of the world’s manufactured goods – compared to 1895 when it made 18% of all goods. “Britain is not anything like as big as it was but for a country with 1 per cent of the global population it still punches above its weight,” he said. “China has come from a lowly position in the past 20 years and now is responsible for about 20% of total factory made goods. But it does have 20% of the world population.” Mr Marsh is now a lecturer and author of The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers Globalization and the End of Mass Production. He also recently set up a website for UK manufacturing

    10 minutes read Issue 10
  • Keeping the lights on: INEOS seeks to dispel shale gas myths

    INEOS is now one of the biggest companies in the UK’s shale gas industry. But it knows it is easy to be the biggest. It’s quite another to be the best and the most trusted. With trust in big business, banks and politicians now at an all-time low, it has never been more important to win back the respect of the people. In April last year INEOS Shale, which now has government licences to explore one million acres in the UK for shale gas, began its quest to show communities that its intentions are honourable. “We are in this for the long-term,” said CEO Gary Haywood. “It’s not just about making money. We want to help lead a manufacturing renaissance in Britain and we believe an indigenous shale gas industry can do that.” It has already begun talking to communities in Scotland where it has licences to explore thousands of acres close to its manufacturing plant in Grangemouth. But as it waits for Scotland to lift its current ban on fracking, pending further inquiries, INEOS Shale has moved south – into England – where it hopes to convince people in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and the East Midlands of the benefits that a domestic shale gas industry could bring. “We understand that people in these areas are concerned,” said Gary. “And that is partly because there are so many myths about shale gas extraction. But we want to show that this can be done well and safely, and we want to meet the people in areas where we hold licences.” Exhibitions are being arranged to allow local people the opportunity to talk directly to INEOS – and ask any questions – about what it plans to do near their homes. INEOS Shale has also produced a series of films to dispel fears that people may have. They will be screened at the exhibitions where experts will explain what it means for communities which have been promised 6% of shale gas revenues by INEOS to improve local facilities. As INCH went to press, INEOS was planning thorough 2D and 3D studies of the rock in each county to check whether gas is present and accessible. If the results from that look promising, permission will be sought to drill 600ft vertical wells to take three-inch wide core samples of the rock to access the quality and quantity of oil and gas in the shale. “It is effectively like coring an apple,” said Tom Pickering, Operations Director INEOS Upstream. “It’s a cautious approach, led by science, but it is important that we get it right.” Once INEOS has all the detailed data it needs, a decision will be made whether it is economically sound – and safe – to frack the well using 98% water, 1.5% sand and 0.5% additives, which will prevent the build-up of scale and sterilise the well. “Some people say that 600 poisonous chemicals are used in fracking but that is just not true,” said Tom. “Most wells require between six and 12 chemicals. All chemicals used will have to be described openly in planning applications and permits.” INEOS Shale knows that its decision to pursue shale gas exploration has set it on a collision course with environmentalists who claim fracking is dangerous, causes earthquakes, poisons drinking water and affects the air we breathe. But the company has never been one to run from a challenging situation especially when it believes there is a strong economic and environmental case. “A home-grown thriving shale gas industry will not only revolutionise manufacturing in Britain, but it will give the UK energy security for the first time in many years and create thousands of jobs in areas which have been hit hardest,” said Gary. “If we can do that and reassure people that the industry can operate without long-term damage to the environment or their way of life, it’s a win-win situation for all.” Professor Peter Styles, one of three experts commissioned by the UK Government in 2011 to write an independent report after fracking by another company caused minor tremors in Lancashire, believes Britain’s long-term future depends on the vast reserves of shale gas buried deep beneath the ground. “I don’t think people realise how extremely vulnerable we are in the UK,” he said. “At the moment about 80% of UK domestic heating and cooking is gas and we import half of it. Some of it comes from Norway, which is probably all right, but a lot of it comes from Siberia which has not been the most secure form of supply over the years.” In January 2009, a dispute between Ukraine and Russia over natural gas prices led to deliveries to a number of European countries being cut off entirely. “We were down to two days’ supply,” he said. “And when that happens, companies like INEOS ChlorVinyls in Runcorn, which is the third biggest user of gas in Britain, get switched off to protect the domestic supplies.” INEOS not only uses gas, though, to heat and power its manufacturing plants. Gas is also a vital raw material used to make thousands of essential products that we all rely on each day. Without it, there would be no plastic, medicines, buildings, cars, computers, clothes, or iPad screens. “That’s often forgotten when we see heated debates about the merits of continuing to use fossil fuels,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, INEOS Manager of Cleantech Initiatives. “Many renewables, such as the important components in wind turbines and solar panels, cannot be made without gas. We will still need gas to make things even when we have switched to a low-carbon energy.” INEOS Shale, which holds more licences than any other company in the UK, believes most people are open-minded about shale gas development. “That is all we want,” said Tom. “We are not complacent. We do understand people’s concerns but many of the things people may have read about shale gas simply aren’t true. We are happy to be challenged if people think we are wrong. Understandably, they just want more information. And that is what we hope to provide at these meetings.” It will be an uphill battle because the anti-fracking groups have hijacked social media. But INEOS hopes to show that he who shouts the loudest, isn’t necessarily the most knowledgeable. WHY INEOS IS THE RIGHT COMPANY TO EXTRACT SHALE GAS IN THE UK FEW companies come with as much expertise as INEOS. In addition to its expertise above ground, handling flammable gases across its 65 manufacturing sites all over the world, the company also has expertise below ground. In November, INEOS acquired gas platforms in the North Sea – and, with them, a team of drilling experts who already supply enough gas to heat one in 10 homes in the UK. INEOS also employs the team who pioneered the development of shale gas in the US with more than 20 years of industry experience. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe said he could not understand why it was still so hard to convince people that shale gas extraction was safe. “There is such a wealth of experience of drilling and fracking for shale in North America that it should have dispelled all the concerns and ghosts,” he said. “In America they have now drilled and fracked in excess of one million wells over the past 10 years and it has produced an immense amount of hydrocarbons.” MISTAKES were made in the early days of shale gas exploration in America. Faulty well construction led to water contamination and waste water from fracked oil wells was left in open, unlined pits. “We have studied all of these cases to ensure we do things differently,” said Tom Pickering, Chief Operating Officer of INEOS Shale. Some US companies had used only one layer of steel in the well. INEOS will be using up to four layers of steel cemented one inside the other. Other companies had reused old wells. INEOS will use only new wells. The waste water was left in open ponds. INEOS’ waste water will be enclosed in double skinned storage tanks before being recycled. “It is important to acknowledge that there have been some issues but they happened in the early days of shale gas exploration in America and we don’t live in America,” said Tom. “This is the UK where we have one of the most rigorous regulatory regimes in the world.” Having reviewed the available evidence, the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering have concluded that shale gas can be extracted safely with appropriate regulation. Extracting shale gas is not risk free and has to be done carefully, but the risks are manageable and comparable to other practices.

    12 minutes read Issue 10
  • Expertise comes to the surface

    INEOS Upstream may be INEOS’ newest business. But the people driving its new energy business are not new to fracking. On or off shore. On shore, INEOS is working with the three Americans who pioneered the development of shale gas in the US which has led to a manufacturing renaissance. Off shore, they have acquired a team who has been drilling and fracking safely for natural gas for years. All are confident that INEOS – with its expertise above ground, handling flammable gases across its 65 manufacturing sites – can become the first company in the UK to safely extract the vast reserves of shale gas currently trapped in rocks thousands of feet underground – and, in doing so, change public perception. “We think we can bring something unique to the emerging shale gas industry,” said Tom Pickering, INEOS Shale’s Chief Operating Officer who worked on a North Sea oil rig for years. Doug Scott is head of drilling at INEOS Breagh, a subsidiary of INEOS Upstream. “We have been one of the most active exploiters of fracking in tight sandstone gas fields in the southern North Sea over the past four years,” he said. “We have used the technique to get the gas out quicker and to access gas that was previously uneconomical to extract.” Shale gas is the same as North Sea gas. They are both natural gas. The only difference is the North Sea gas is extracted from sandstone situated around 3km (almost 2 miles) under the seabed and on shore INEOS would be extracting it from shale up to 5km (3 miles) underground. Doug and his team had – up until October – been working for DEA. That changed when INEOS bought the German firm for several hundred million dollars, and, with it, the responsibility for ensuring the supply of gas for 1 in 10 homes across the UK. INEOS Breagh operates four platforms in the southern North Sea and owns interest in 16 exploration licences. INEOS’ decision to buy – when all around seemed to be selling – has been seen as a ground-breaking move into the energy sector. Where others saw troubled waters – brought on by rising costs and plummeting profits – INEOS saw a huge wave of opportunity. That opportunity to acquire an immense amount of expertise – while improving the life and efficiency of these platforms without compromising on safety – was too good to miss. To help grow the business, INEOS will be relying on its new team of geologists, geophysicists and well construction experts who are now working for INEOS Breagh. The new team work well with INEOS Group because they share a similar ethos. “Safety and efficiency are paramount to us,” said Doug. “The design and planning work we did before we fracked our very first well was critical to its success and it cannot be overestimated. The time you spend to get everything right pays dividends during the operational phase.” He said the plans – and contingencies agreed in the event of something going wrong - ensured the team could manage the inherent uncertainties of drilling and fracking wells. “As always during the operational phase, in the event that operational progress conflicts with safety, safety always takes priority,” he said. Doug said safe and efficient operations relied on team competency and effective communication between those operating the rig, the frack vessel and the platform. At INEOS Breagh they fitted essentially a filter in the well to stop the proppant (primarily the sand) from reaching the surface during gas production. It meant the fracked well could be put on line 12 months ahead of an alternative technical solution being found. “The downhole screens were a first for fracked wells in the UK’s continental shelf in the southern North Sea,” said Doug. “But this simple technology potentially opens up all sorts of opportunities for our future fracked gas field developments.” And at Clipper South they sold the clean-up gas from the well instead of flaring it. “That was a first for us as well,” said Doug. “It took an enormous amount of effort and collaboration within the organisation to integrate the safety and productions systems, but by doing that, we not only captured about 300 tonnes of CO2 but it also created £4.3 million in revenue from the sales gas.” The platforms, which INEOS inherited as part of the deal, are relatively new, well managed and remotely controlled. “That was part of the appeal,” said Geir Tuft, CEO of INEOS Breagh. As INEOS moves further into the energy business, INEOS Shale will be hoping to learn valuable lessons from the team at INEOS Breagh. “We will be looking to take advantage of the new family ties in all areas by sharing resources and experiences,” said Geir. Since the acquisition, he has been working on a robust plan to improve the efficiency of the business, especially in light of falling oil and gas prices. Three years ago oil was selling at $110 a barrel; today it is below $40. “We need to be able to manage reduced cash flows to ensure the business is robust in all conditions,” he said.

    6 minutes read Issue 10
  • Everest. INEOS on top of the world

    IT’S hard to come down to earth when you have stood on the roof of the world. One who knows that from experience is Rhys Jones who conquered Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, on his 20th birthday. He had dreamed of that moment for eight years after listening to a talk as a 12-year-old Scout. In a sense, his work was now done and he had no desire to climb it again. “Once was enough for many reasons,” he said. “But in many ways I guess I never really came down. I can relive any part of the climb any time I close my eyes. It’s something I will never forget.” A few years ago, Rhys, who now runs his own luxury expedition company with his wife Laura, was asked to lead an expedition into the ‘death zone’ and on to the summit of Mount Everest. “I said ‘no’ because I couldn’t put a price on that experience,” he said. “You really have to want it to endure the hardship and danger, and I’m not sure that a pay cheque would drive me enough for that.” It was, however, a ‘pay cheque’ that got him there in 2006. “I don’t know what made me approach INEOS all those years ago for funding,” he said. “It was just chance research. But I had spread the net far and wide writing to sponsors, including Stannah Stairlifts which gave me £100.” He was on the verge of giving up when INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe agreed to meet the then 19-year-old. After an hour-long meeting Rhys walked out of the door with the money he needed to complete the expedition in his pocket – and an INEOS flag to plant on the summit. “I would not have been able to do it without INEOS’ help,” he said. “It was all the money I needed but it also meant much more to me. It was a huge boost to my confidence that Jim believed in me and it’s what pushed me to keep going on the mountain. I vividly remember taking the final steps to the summit a few months later, and having an overriding thought that I’d promised Jim a photograph of the INEOS flag on the top.” Rhys returned to the UK with a confidence and dogged determination. But he sensed something was missing. “It had been a target for so long that I missed having that goal to strive for,” he said. He started giving regular talks at dinners and events and working with schools. “I felt it was important to explain to children that I was very average when I set myself these goals,” he said. “I wasn’t a high flier. I was one of the 80% of students who turn up, do the minimum work to avoid trouble, and go home again. I was very anonymous, and couldn’t wait for the weekends when I could go climbing. But I was able to make things happen because I had the right approach.” He recalled how surprised his teachers were when he climbed Denali, the highest peak in North America, 12 months after sitting his GCSEs. “In one of my old school reports I had been advised to work on my fitness so that I could enjoy my PE lessons more,” he said. “No wonder they were surprised.” He also led expeditions for travel companies and charities. “It was fun but I always felt like I was short changing myself by working for a middle man,” he said. So he quit and set up his first company RJ7 Expeditions from an office in Dubai in the Middle East. He is now back in the UK and heading up new venture Monix Adventures, which specialises in guiding people to some of the most difficultto- reach places on earth. And for those seeking such thrills, his experience is invaluable. “I’ve had some low ebbs on expeditions,” he said. “I fell into a crevasse in Greenland and broke my arm. But we all face challenges in our lives. When things are tough, I remind myself that nothing last forever, no matter how steep, how complicated, or how difficult it appears.” As for the INEOS flag, which he unravelled during the five minutes he spent on the 29,035ft summit on May 17 2006, he hopes that it’s in an INEOS office somewhere in the world. “Who knows, seeing that may inspire someone else to follow in my footsteps,” he said.

    7 minutes read Issue 10
  • Debate: Do we need gas?

    ENERGY strategy in Britain has three big goals; keeping the lights on, keeping the bills down, and moving to a clean energy future. We need to meet the UK’s demand for energy, using clean and low carbon energy sources if we are to continue to combat climate change and grow the economy. But this isn’t something which will simply happen overnight. It will take time as we start to move to more renewable and low carbon energy sources. Moving from coal to gas would make a huge contribution to reducing our carbon footprint, and is the ‘bridge’ we need for many years to come. The anti-fracking lobby seem to think there is a bottomless pit of bill-payers’ money to fund renewable energy generation. There isn’t, and even if there was, we would still need gas – as a reliable source of electricity when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. Andrea Leadsom, Energy and Climate Change Minister, UK Government THE pursuit of shale gas is a fool’s errand when renewables can deliver what’s needed for an energy revolution. This is especially true for the 1.3 billion globally who lack any access to electricity, and for those who live ‘off-grid’ who need decentralised and locally appropriate technologies, but it’s also true for energy systems in the global North. Like new coal and new nuclear power, investment in unconventional gas is a serious distraction from badly-needed investment in renewable energy. There has been some research from the US which indicates that extracting shale gas via fracking could have a bigger total greenhouse gas footprint than coal. Apart from the climate impacts, gas extraction is the source of serious environmental and social conflicts around the world. Development of gas pipelines and infrastructure drive land grabbing and we believe threatens water resources and biodiversity in many places. Furthermore, we believe there are significant risks of water contamination and air pollution from fracking. Friends of the Earth International IT is incontrovertible that in the long-term we must move to as low carbon as practicable technologies but the tools for this (carbon capture and storage and renewable energy technologies) are not currently ready to satisfy global energy demand and poverty alleviation needs and some may never be economical or implementable. Shale gas has the potential, if managed and regulated with diligence and authority, to provide some of the necessary reduction in CO2 while delivering energy to a rapidly growing but carbon-constrained world. Professor Peter Styles, a British geologist and professor of Applied and Environmental Geophysics at Keele University ALTERNATIVE sources of energy can become a satisfactory substitute for fossil fuels if we put as much effort and genius in the effort as we did in producing the first atomic bomb. The most satisfactory single alternative would be hydrogen fusion but that quasi-miracle may be beyond our capability. We may discover that wind, solar, biomass, etc., all piled on top of each other, may have to do, but their success may turn out to require an effort that started a generation ago. Essential to any and all success is the realisation on our part that we may be able to do anything, which includes fail. Alfred W. Crosby, Professor Emeritus of History, Geography, and American Studies at the University of Texas FOR the past four months, natural gas, which is cleaner than coal, has generated the largest share of America’s electricity. But some, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, believe it’s already time to begin replacing natural gas with wind and solar energy. These renewables are growing, but from a very small base, and only with billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. Wind and solar have other issues: the wind does not always blow nor the sun shine. So, renewables need backup energy, mostly from natural gas. Instead of relying on government mandates to transform our energy sector, let’s allow the marketplace to work. America’s huge, low-cost supply of natural gas is the product of innovation and entrepreneurship. This American form of problem-solving has produced a market-competitive solution to help us turn the corner on energy costs and emissions which are now at their lowest level for 27 years. No other country has been able to replicate this American success story. Of course, many renewable energy advocates would like to see us abandon market principles altogether. But if we do, we not only drive up energy prices, but slow the pace of innovation. Dr J Winston Porter, former EPA assistant administrator in Washington DC. He is now an energy and environmental consultant, based in Savannah, Georgia, USA FOR more than a year the Task Force on Shale Gas has explored the potential impacts, positive and negative, of creating a shale gas industry in the UK. In December we published our final recommendations. We are convinced that gas is required as part of the UK’s energy mix for the short and medium term. It is simply not feasible to create a renewables industry that can meet all our energy needs in the short term. Gas represents an environmentally cleaner alternative to coal. The adverse climate impact of shale gas is similar to conventional gas and less than LNG. Our conclusion from all the evidence we have gathered over the past year is clear. The risk from shale gas to the local environment or to public health is no greater than that associated with comparable industries provided, as with all industrial works, that operators follow best practice. Lord Chris Smith, Chairman, Task Force on Shale Gas to UK Government THE International Energy Agency sees renewables providing an ever-greater share of the global energy supply, but fossil fuels are not going away soon. In the central scenario of our flagship World Energy Outlook, global energy demand rises about one third by 2040. Renewables will contribute to that surge, to be sure, but so will natural gas: in fact, under all WEO scenarios, gas has at least a one fourth share of global energy in 2040. Shale gas has increased the shift of some electricity generation from coal, and further development of natural gas, along with renewables, is critical to a diverse, secure and sustainable energy supply in the coming decades. Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist, The International Energy Agency THE US experiment with shale gas has shown that, given the right resources and massive drilling efforts, significant amounts of natural gas can be produced. However, it has also shown that production tends to be short-term (wells deplete rapidly), that resources vary greatly in quality (only the ‘sweet spots’ are profitable), that water and air pollution can result from drilling, and that methane leaks erase any climate benefit of shale gas over coal. In contrast, renewable energy resources represent the future of energy – with declining costs and far lower environmental impacts. Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute WE want to be very clear: solar cells, wind turbines, and biomass-for-energy plantations can never replace even a small fraction of the highly reliable, 24-hoursa- day, 365-days-a-year, nuclear, fossil, and hydroelectric power stations. Claims to the contrary are popular, but irresponsible. We live in a hydrocarbon-limited world, generate too much CO2, and major hydropower opportunities have been exhausted worldwide. Tad W. Patzek, Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan is a regulation designed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce US power sector CO2 emissions 32% below 2005 levels. Because each state has a unique energy mix, the Clean Power Plan sets state-specific reduction goals and provides the flexibility to meet them through individual compliance plans. No matter how states choose to implement the plan, it is well understood that natural gas is the most cost-effective way to advance our clean energy goals while ensuring continued economic growth. That is why natural gas will continue to be an essential component of how America produces energy for years to come. In fact, the Energy Information Administration reported that in April power sector carbon emissions had reached the lowest level since 1988. Not coincidentally, April was the first time in history that natural gas overtook coal as the number one fuel source for electricity. America’s National Gas Alliance

    7 minutes read Issue 10
  • The Daily Mile gains ground

    A FORMER headteacher’s vision to get every child in every school in the UK running a mile for fun every day has turned a corner – thanks, in part, to the GO Run For Fun Foundation. Four years ago Elaine Wyllie’s primary school in Stirling, Scotland, was the only UK school running what she christened The Daily Mile. But today her campaign to produce a healthier and leaner generation has been formally endorsed by the Scottish Government for all its primary schools – and more schools from all corners of the UK are signing up every day. “We are working to build a national network and already, we know from social media of hundreds of schools that are picking it up,” said Ursula Heath, Group Communications Officer, who also works with GO Run For Fun Foundation. “We are working with Elaine and our GO Run For Fun network to turn it into a national programme,” said Ursula. “It’s hugely exciting to see this take off, and to know that we are working towards improving the health and wellbeing of the UK’s children for years to come.” Elaine, who is now retired, is working to encourage more headteachers to get involved. “It’s ultimately the headteachers who lead the adoption of The Daily Mile, and Elaine’s stellar teaching CV and passion for her cause inspire others to embrace the initiative,” said Ursula. On March 17, The Daily Mile Foundation was officially launched at Hallfield Primary School in Westminster, London, supported by the GO Run For Fun Foundation. “Our dream is that one day every child in the UK will have the chance to run daily at school,” said Ursula. The immediate hope is that the British Government will also see the benefits of incorporating The Daily Mile into the national school curriculum as a way of helping to tackle the UK’s growing obesity crisis. It is believed one in three children in the UK are now classed as overweight or obese. “We think this campaign can make a huge difference in addressing that problem,” said Ursula. Visit The Daily Mile Website at: Also follow the campaign on Twitter @thedailymile and Facebook video

    6 minutes read Issue 10
  • Runaway success

    A WORLDWIDE campaign to get children up and running has found a permanent foothold in America. Reaction to GO Run For Fun’s inaugural events in Texas last year was so positive that the UK-based organisation has set up a dedicated team to host the runs in the US. This year the US team hopes to persuade 10,000 children from 17 schools to take part in one of the 34 runs in the Houston area. “That’s our target but we could easily do 20,000 this year because the demand is there,” said Kathryn Shuler, Manager of Community Relations and Special Projects at INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA. “But this will be our first official year and we need to make sure we can deliver the high-quality programme that everyone expects from GO Run For Fun.” The US team will also be charged taking the campaign to Chicago close to INEOS’ Styrolution and Technologies sites. Almost one in five high school students in Texas are now classed as overweight. But GO Run For Fun is already helping to address that. Karla Klyng, the assistant principal at Alvin Elementary School in Alvin, Texas, told INEOS that 155 children – instead of the expected 65 – joined its Mighty Milers after-school running club after taking part in a GO Run For Fun event last year. “The kids cannot wait to do GO Run For Fun again this year,” she said. GO Run For Fun was founded in the UK by INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe, a keen runner himself who wanted to encourage children to run for fun – and get fit at the same time. It has already been making inroads in the UK and mainland Europe where thousands of children have taken part in one of the hundreds of short distance running events. And now America, which knows it has a weight problem, is following in its footsteps. “Fast food restaurants now list calorie counts for their menu items, and there’s focus at the government level that kids need 60 minutes of exercise every day,” said Kathryn. But food is not the only problem weighing heavily on the minds of PE teachers in the US. “They say video games are also a dangerous distraction,” said Kathryn. Mary Meyer, a PE teacher at Longfellow Elementary in Alvin, Texas, told INEOS: “The kids are so used to playing video games that when they go outside to recess they just sit. They don’t even know how to run and play anymore.” But the teams behind what has become the biggest children’s running initiative in the world believe that where there’s a will to succeed, there’s a way. The US campaign has already won an army of inspirational supporters including 1000 metre champion Bernard Lagat, Olympic sprinter Wallace Spearmon and astronaut Mario Runco who took part in three Space Shuttle missions during the nineties. Last year Wallace Spearmon, who is currently the seventh fastest runner in the world, attended several GO Run For Fun events in Texas. He told children how he had twice failed to win a place in his high school track team. “It was only because of my father’s encouragement that I stuck with running and continued to practise,” he said. “It was hard but I worked at it.” Eventually he won a place on the US Olympic team. To ensure the long-term success of the US GO Run For Fun campaign, it too has set up a charitable foundation. The key initiative of the INEOS ICAN Foundation, which is a volunteer organisation for fitness and community outreach, will be GO Run For Fun but the Foundation will also facilitate INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA’s annual employee-driven, fund-raising golf tournament and provide grants for schools to extend the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths in their classrooms. The Houston Marathon Foundation is already an official supporter, along with Houston’s professional womens’ soccer team, the Houston Dash, which has sent insprirational ambassadors to the events so far this Spring. “That way we can show kids that running is not only an inexpensive and fun activity on its own, but it’s also an integral part of so many great sports,” said Kathryn. Many parents are also excited to help the campaign. “Unfortunately some of our target schools don’t have as many parent volunteers as others,” said Kathryn. “And many of those are in areas where parents work more than one job to make ends meet. But it’s really important to help all parents understand the need to support good exercise habits in these areas.” To help drive home the message about the benefits of running and exercise to the body and soul, INEOS will be producing informative leaflets printed in English and Spanish. Events will be delivered to 17 public elementary schools in the the Alvin, Clear Lake and La Porte school districts this year, with 9 days of runs having already taken place in the Alvin School District this April. But INEOS is already looking to the future, and has set its heart on attracting 15,000 children by 2017 and 20,000 by 2018. And with a team as passionate as it is, that should be easily achieved. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to help motivate kids to be more physically active,” said Dennis Seith, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA. “Healthy, active kids tend to be better engaged, and more successful in school,” he said. “Being active in athletic activities also teaches the values of teamwork, accountability, fair play, and a drive for doing your best.” One who seconds that is GO Run For Fun ambassador Bernard Lagat. “Running has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to travel the world,” he said. “But this campaign is more than just a fun run. It teaches children the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”   video  

    7 minutes read Issue 10
  • Youth culture

    AS supporters go, INEOS is in a league of its own. But that’s not INEOS’ verdict; it’s the word on the ground where INEOS does so much to help develop a healthy interest in sport, particularly among the young. And it’s in any sport. Ice hockey. Football. Rugby. Running. And, seemingly, in every country where it does business. The US, the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium. “INEOS revolutionised our club,” said Sacha Weibel, Chief Executive Officer of Lausanne Hockey Club. “We are now in the first division and one of the top 10 teams in the country.” INEOS approached the club in 2010 – the year it uprooted 80 families and moved its headquarters from the UK to Rolle in Switzerland. “They wanted to be a part of the community, which was wonderful,” said Sacha. “We wish more people thought like that.” But it wasn’t just financial support on offer. “INEOS wanted to be totally involved,” said Sacha. That meant regularly attending matches at the 8,000-seater stadium – and staging their own friendlies before the club’s official games. Are they any good? “No, they are terrible,” he said with a smile. “But it is to be expected. Kids here skate as soon as they can walk.” Ice hockey is the biggest spectator sport in Switzerland and one of the most difficult sports to master. You not only need to be able to skate well, which takes skill, but competitors also need to be able to run, shoot, pass and block shots at high speed. INEOS may not cut it on the ice, but off it, the company’s support has proved invaluable. “It really helped us to transform the whole company,” said Sacha. Over the past four years the club has enjoyed a spectacular comeback and now competes in the top tier of Swiss hockey. And season after season, it gets better. “It really is inspirational working with INEOS,” said Sacha. “Their way of working rubs off on us all.” Of course, that’s not all. As a company, it also produces the raw, building block chemicals that can be found in hockey helmets, sticks and keep ice rinks cold. INEOS is also a big supporter of sports clubs where its own staff – or employees’ children – spend their spare time, training, coaching or playing. “We are always proud of our employees who actively get involved in clubs to help other people,” said Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, head of the communications department at INEOS Koln. In January the site teamed up with one of Germany’s biggest athletic clubs. Part of its work with ASV Cologne will be to organise the GO Run For Fun events in June. The INEOS-inspired GO Run For Fun is now a global running campaign. Over 1,000 schools across the UK, mainland Europe and the US have hosted a 2km fun run thanks to INEOS’ initial investment of £1.5 million (€1.9m, $2.5m). And that work – to instil a healthy approach to exercise and nutrition – goes on. Anne-Gret said INEOS financially supported countless sports clubs for children close to the Koln site. “INEOS likes to support those with a desire to lend a hand in the community,” she said. One who is out there in all weathers is Bill Faulds, who manages the Under 16s Falkirk rugby team in Scotland, UK. The Infrastructure Technical Manager at INEOS’ Grangemouth site has been involved with the club since he was a student in 1985 and spends up to three nights a week coaching the youngsters. “It is so rewarding to see children develop their skills and confidence,” he said. “And INEOS has been very supportive with an annual grant, which matched my time. Their support meant we could buy training gear.” INEOS will always find ways to support those who champion sport and understand how important it is to the development of young people. Or as former US president John F Kennedy put it: ‘Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.’

    5 minutes read Issue 10
  • PLAYMOBIL figures INEOS’ solution is the best

    GERMANY’S biggest toymaker PLAYMOBIL figured INEOS could help – and they were right. The company needed a hard-wearing, flexible material for three new special characters – an ice dragon, a transparent pink robot and a pirate. PLAYMOBIL knew what INEOS could do because they have worked with the company for years. But this time they needed a material that was tough, easy to mould and transparent. INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, suggested Zylar, one of its specialty chemicals – and the match was perfect. “They were demanding requirements but we have always aimed to find the right solution, no matter who the customer is,” said Julia Herzog, Marketing Communications Manager. PLAYMOBIL characters first appeared on the scene in 1974. At that time there were just three of them – a construction worker in stripy bib, a knight with a silver helmet and an American Indian with a feather in his hair. Since then, about 4,000 different designs have come off the production lines in Malta and almost 3 billion plastic figures have been made. “Zylar has become more and more a material of choice for toys,” said Peter Rath, Director Sales Construction, Distribution, Compounding & Others, INEOS Styrolution. “Without plastics many toys and all kinds of sporting gear wouldn’t exist.” He said INEOS felt honoured to work with such an iconic toymaker. Zylar is currently used for medical devices but can be found in a multitude of household applications including water filters or coffee machine water containers.

    1 minute read Issue 10
  • INEOS buys factory on Spanish coast

    INEOS has bought a sulphuric acid factory at one of the most important logistics centres in Europe. The acquisition of the plant in Bilbao, Spain, complements INEOS’ existing sulphur chemicals business in Runcorn in the UK and effectively doubles its production capacity. Sulphuric acid is one of the most important, basic compounds manufactured by the chemical industry. It is used to make, literally, hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industrial sector including fertilisers, detergents, water treatment and batteries. “In days of old, sulphuric acid consumption was a measure of a country’s GDP,” said Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises. “Demand was very much linked to the economic health of a country.” That may also be true today. Last year Spain was the second fastest growing economy in Europe with GDP growth of 3.2% and the International Monetary Fund believes Spain’s recovery will continue. “That is good news for us and should provide a strong platform for sales growth in the local markets,” said Ashley. The Spanish plant, which makes about 340,000 metric tonnes of sulphuric acid every year, is one of the most modern in Europe and is close to the Bilbao Refinery which supplies most of the plant’s key raw material, sulphur. “Sulphur is often an unwanted by-product in the production of refinery products so it is a way for them to dispose of it,” said Ashley. About 25% of the plant’s revenue comes from cogeneration of electricity which is produced through burning sulphur in air. Electricity prices in Spain are amongst the highest in the world and under new Spanish legislation to encourage renewable energy production, the Spanish government will underwrite the electricity prices for the business for the next 25 years. “That was one of the reasons why INEOS was interested in the plant,” said Ashley. The plant is strategically located in Bilbao port which makes it ideally poised to export around the world. “There is no other sulphuric acid producer within 400km of the port,” said Ashley. “And because transport costs make up a major proportion of the sulphuric acid price, having the right location is vital for the success of a sulphur chemicals business.”

    2 minutes read Issue 10
  • INEOS decides to go it alone

    A JOINT venture between INEOS and Solvay is to end later this year – two years ahead of schedule. The two companies have achieved so much since they formed INOVYN in July 2015 that Solvay has agreed to leave INEOS in control of the 3.5 billion Euro business. “Thanks to the fast and efficient integration of its teams and assets, INOVYN is now a sound and sustainable chlorvinyls player,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. Belgian company Solvay had always intended to leave INEOS as sole owner of the business but that had originally been planned for July 2018. INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe said INEOS was comfortable with the early exit. “Chlorvinyls businesses are core to large petrochemicals companies such as ours,” he said. “And through this planned acquisition INOVYN will have an owner with a long-term vision that provides stability for its business and employees.” The two companies’ decision to merge their chlorvinyls businesses in 2015 created a winning combination. It turned newly-named INOVYN into one of the top three PVC producers in the world and meant the business was well placed to respond rapidly to changing European markets. INOVYN, which is headquartered in London, employs 4,300 people at 18 manufacturing sites in eight countries. Every year it manufactures 40 million tonnes of chemicals which find use in almost every aspect of modern life, keeping people housed, healthy and connected.

    1 minute read Issue 10
  • Business profile: INEOS Breagh Unchartered Waters

    It’s exciting times at INEOS – both onshore and offshore – as INCH discovered during a conversation with Geir Tuft, CEO of the company’s new oil and gas business INEOS Breagh MANY people wonder why INEOS is getting involved in oil & gas exploration. Questions are being asked as it steers its business out into the North Sea at a time when others are leaving. But it is confident it can be the change the oil and gas industry needs to turn around ageing assets deemed unprofitable and unfit for the job. So too is Geir Tuft, the man head-hunted to lead INEOS’ new offshore gas business INEOS Breagh which operates four platforms in the North Sea and owns interest in 16 exploration licences. INCH caught up with Geir shortly after he moved into his new office in London as CEO of INEOS’ new gas subsidiary. “I do not know where this journey will ultimately take me or INEOS but we are capable of making a big difference in the North Sea,” he said. “We are not in this for the short-term.” In October INEOS bought all 12 UK North Sea gas fields owned by German firm DEA, which is part of the LetterOne Group. All the gas fields are close to INEOS’ assets in the North East and Scotland and provide about 8% of the UK’s gas, enough to warm one in 10 homes. “That’s not insignificant and I think about that when I go home each day, knowing that I have got control over this,” said Geir. Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman had been required to sell them by the British Government amid fears of sanctions against Moscow over Russia’s role in the Ukraine. A few days after INEOS had agreed to buy DEA (UK), which included Clipper South platform, Fairfield Energy Holdings Ltd sold its 25% interest in the Clipper South, bringing 75% of it under INEOS’ control. Fairfield said it wanted to concentrate on decommissioning. But INEOS’ interest in acquiring more North Sea gas fields is unlikely to end here. “Virtually everything in the North Sea is for sale,” said Geir. “And we are the only buyers in a sea of sellers.” In many ways these are unchartered waters for INEOS, but it classes itself as a ‘relative’. “Although INEOS is a new entrant to the North Sea, the company has extensive experience in operating chemical plants of similar or greater complexity to these offshore platforms,” said Geir. “Our core focus on Safety Health and Environmental performance, reliability, high utilisation and competitive cash fixed costs, are attributes the mature North Sea needs to extend the life of assets and extract as much hydrocarbons as possible. We believe we can take these assets and improve their reliability and invest where the money is needed.” The problems facing the UK oil and gas industry, which has been drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea since 1964, have been well documented. In 2014 Pricewaterhouse Coopers was warning that a new vision and new ways of working were urgently needed to cement its position as a global oil and gas hub. “It’s vital that we take a more strategic and integrated view to help extend the life of the North Sea for everyone involved and for future generations,” said Kevin Reynard, PwC’s senior partner in Aberdeen. “If we choose not to change, then we risk sleep-walking into an early sunset.” Those views were echoed in June 2015 when it again urged oil and gas firms to heed lessons from other UK industries which had been forced to change or die. “There is no escaping the fact that exploration and production is down on previous years” said Kevin. “The stark reality is that even if all the planned wells go ahead, the rate of drilling is still too low to recover even a fraction of the potential resources.” PwC called for a step change in strategy. “Businesses need to innovate and collaborate as well as improve cost control and performance,” he said. The UK Government has also been urging the industry since early 2014 to reduce operating costs, improve efficiency, exploit untapped reserves and spend more money on exploration. “Our experience will be invaluable in this environment,” said Geir. “In fact we have extensive experience in acquiring, improving and managing assets deemed unprofitable. If any company on this planet can do it, it is INEOS.” It is estimated that there are between 30 to 40 years of production – and an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil – remaining but the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts a 38% fall in oil revenue by 2017-2018. To help boost ‘flagging’ North Sea production by 15% by the end of the decade, UK Chancellor George Osborne recently unveiled measures worth £1.3 billion over five years and also plans to partially fund new exploration work to help increase the region’s reserves. The oil and gas industry knows it needs to reduce operating costs by billions and increase production efficiency if it is to remain competitive. The high cost of running these assets was brutally exposed when oil prices suddenly dropped from $110 a barrel to $60 then again to below $40 at the end of the year (2015). Geir, who has spent the past three years at INEOS’ Grangemouth site, is excited by what 2016 will bring. “First we need to fully understand the business,” he said. “At the moment I feel as if I have one foot on firm ground because of what INEOS has already achieved and one foot in a dingy, where we have to be careful and learn because there is an element of this which is all new to us with exploration and sub-surface, geology and seismology.” But by late January (2016), he will have a robust plan for growing the business to present to INEOS Capital. The staff, who came with the sale of the LetterOne Group, are also optimistic about the future. “After all the uncertainty there is a real sense of relief,” he said. “There is a very positive anticipation because they know we want to operate and develop the asset. We are in it for the long-term.” One who agrees with that is Adrian Coker, Head of Exploration and New Business at INEOS Breagh. We have effectively been through a two-year sale process,” he said. “First to LetterOne and then a forced onward sale to INEOS so we are quite pleased that we can finally move on and get back to business as normal.” INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe has already met the team. “He is going against the current to a lot of people who are leaving the North Sea, but there are some good wins here to be had by someone with an entrepreneurial take on things,” said Adrian. The existing, highly-experienced management team at DEA’s UK business will stay in place and run the business in a similar way to all INEOS’ other businesses. “There won’t be a great deal of interference from head office,” said Jim. “It will be in its own independent box and the management will be charged with running that business.” For INEOS, this is a very bold step into a new world but depending upon how this venture develops, it has the potential to transform the business in the way that INEOS’ acquisition of INNOVENE did in 2005. video

    7 minutes read Issue 9
  • The $9 Billion deal

    The acquisition of gas fields in the North Sea marks a significant moment in INEOS’ history. But it is not the first time INEOS has seemingly achieved the impossible. Ten years ago it raised a cool $9 billion to buy BP’s massive chemicals business INNOVENE. It was a transformational deal that changed the face of INEOS overnight. THE year was 2005. The world feared it was on the verge of a bird flu pandemic as cases spread from Asia to Europe, millions mourned the death of Pope John Paul II and Saddam Hussein went on trial. INEOS was doing well. It was turning over $8 billion a year and employed 7,500 people at 20 sites around the world. But INEOS Capital had bigger ambitions, it was looking to invest. BP was planning to float its massive chemicals business, INNOVENE, on the New York Stock Market. But INEOS convinced the management team to sell the olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary to it instead for $9 billion. It was a colossal bet and a deal was agreed without even visiting many of the sites. But that bold step propelled INEOS into the big league of global petrochemical companies. INNOVENE had 8,000 staff and 26 manufacturing sites in America, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy. “The deal vaulted INEOS, which then had an exceptionally low profile, into the top tier of global chemical companies,” said Patricia Short, a journalist at Chemical & Engineering News. Following the acquisition the combined businesses had a turnover of more than $30 billion, making INEOS the world’s fourth largest petrochemicals company. Jim Ratcliffe described the deal – BP’s biggest-ever divestment – as a ‘transformational acquisition.’ Overnight his company had more than doubled in size. The acquisition, which included the Lavéra and Grangemouth refineries, filled out INEOS’ ethylene and propylene derivative portfolio. David Anderson, President of the Chemical Market Resources Inc, a Houston-based consulting firm, remembers the deal well. “This was a little company taking on the big guys,” he said. “It was the guppy swallowing the whale. No one thought it might not work out. But it was whether or not the INEOS team could assimilate all the parts into a cohesive operating entity.” It could have gone horribly wrong. But it didn’t. INEOS after all had become accustomed to snapping up unwanted commodity businesses from the likes of ICI, BASF as well as BP, as these chemical giants restructured their own businesses. If any company on the planet could do it, it was INEOS. All INEOS asked itself was whether it could double the earnings (EBITDA) of the businesses it acquired over five years. That wasn’t quite the view from those working for INNOVENE at the time. Bob Sokol, now Chief Financial Officer of C2 Derivatives, had heard about INEOS but viewed it as a small European-focused chemical company. “I never thought of it as a company which could pull off a $9 billion INNOVENE acquisition,” he said. He said staff at INNOVENE were aware that changes were coming. “Employees were operating in a cloud of uncertainty but that uncertainty shifted from going public to being acquired by a largely unknown chemical company on the back of 100% debt finance” he said. Dennis Seith, now Chief Executive Officer of INEOS O&P USA, had been part of the management team selected by BP to establish INNOVENE. “I had never heard of INEOS and it definitely was not a household name to most in the US and INNOVENE,” he said. But he said the enormous pace of change following the acquisition left little time for employees to worry that a little company had just acquired a giant in the chemical world. “The fear of the unknown is always a bit unsettling, but we had a job to do and the work was so intense there was not a lot of time to stress about what was happening,” he said. “I just remember it being both exhilarating and unnerving. We had a chance to remove bureaucracy, try out ideas, be entrepreneurial and take on accountability for the success or failure in the business.” With the deal, INEOS inherited an executive team of 12. Within a year only one of them was left. “That was me,” said Dennis. “There were very few layers left in the business and responsibility was thrust upon those willing to take it. Many were not comfortable with the downsizing and reduction of overheads or approach to entrepreneurial accountability in a private sector company.” BP had grown into a very slow-moving, bureaucratic organisation obsessed with multiple peer reviews it became plagued by indecisiveness. Under INEOS, delegations were tightened and decisions taken at all levels. Corporate spending was reined back. Capital spending was much more tightly controlled. Staff were asked to cut costs by at least 25%. Management began to instil a new culture where employees were asked to ‘act like owners’ in the business where costs and decisions mattered to its future. “We became truly focused and developed the vision that we still have for the business today,” said Dennis. He believed – and still believes – that the takeover was the best thing that ever happened. “BP chemicals was a good business but it had clearly had lost its way with a heavily matrixed operation,” he said. “INEOS gave us the opportunity to truly lead a business and work with very talented people towards common goals. Every employee’s effort matters and makes a difference. We have only been limited by our own creativity and how we choose to prioritise our resources.” Joe Walton, now Business Director of INEOS Oligomers, also worked at BP INNOVENE. “A number of my BP colleagues were very worried about leaving the perceived stability of a major company like BP for a leveraged company like INEOS,” he said. “However, if you look back 10 years at the history of INEOS versus BP that was a misguided view.” At BP, Joe had been responsible for the global business optimisation of the LAO and PAO business only. After the takeover, his remit increased and he was given global responsibility for the Oligomers business management, sales and technology. “A lot of my customers wanted to know what it was like to work for INEOS instead of BP,” he said. “I used to tell them that as a business manager in BP, I spent 60% of my time managing my business and 40% answering questions from central functioning groups that did not add value. In INEOS I spend more than 90% of my time actively managing the business.” Just weeks after the takeover, INEOS created seven new businesses covering refining, olefins, polyolefins, olefins and polymers in the US, nitriles, technologies and oligomers. INNOVENE no longer existed. It was now INEOS Nitriles, INEOS Olefins and INEOS Polyolefins in Europe, INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA, INEOS Oligomers, INEOS Refining and INEOS Technologies each with their own focused team. That same year Jim was named Britain’s top entrepreneur by Management Today, ahead of Carphone Warehouse’s Charles Dunstone and Simon Nixon, founder of The business publication described Ratcliffe as ‘the chemical industry’s answer to steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal’. In the first 10 years, INEOS made more than 20 acquisitions. But the INNOVENE deal will always be the one that changed the face of INEOS forever. Looking to the future, though, you cannot help but feel that the acquisition of gas fields in the North Sea could very well have a very similar effect.

    7 minutes read Issue 9
  • Flying start

    IT was a chance to help students on the University of Liverpool Velocipede Team to build the fastest bicycle in the world – and INEOS wasn’t about to let an opportunity like that slip away. As the engineering students from the University of Liverpool in the UK worked quietly on their speed bike ARION1, INEOS was ready to fly them and their incredible vehicle, to America for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge. “I knew it was something that INEOS would be interested in supporting because it combined sport, engineering, entrepreneurial spirit and a small team with limited experience prepared to take on the world,” said Iain Hogan, CEO of INEOS O&P South. “The students had enough sponsorship to get the bike designed and built but initially, they didn’t want our help because they weren’t sure they had a vehicle that could take on the record.” But the more tests done at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, the more the 16 students, including team leader, Iain’s son Ben, realised it might just be humanly possible to break the world record of 83.13 mph, and so to INEOS they turned. What the students desperately needed was a company with the knowledge and experience to transport the bicycle and the whole team to the middle of the Nevada desert and back again. “Without the support of INEOS the team would not have made it to the competition,” said Ben. “INEOS took charge of arranging the logistics of getting our enormous flight case, which looks more like a small caravan, all the way from our home in Liverpool to the middle of the desert – and back again safely. It was vital our flight case, which contained the bicycle and all our tools, arrived on time and intact. We really needed a company that knew what they were doing.” David Thompson, Chief Operating Officer of INEOS Trading and Shipping, was the man called upon to help the team. His team imports and exports materials to and from the USA every day of the week. “It could have been a logistical nightmare,” he said. “But we knew how to handle US and European customs to make sure the bike, and all the spares and maintenance equipment, could enter the US without delay, and then reverse the process back into Europe.” In tests, the ARION 1 land speed vehicle, which is encased in a carbon fibre shell to help it slice through the air, had topped speeds of more than 50mph. “Carbon fibre composite was the ideal material for fabricating the vehicle because you can mould it to almost any shape that you want,” said Ben. “So we did.” The rider sees where they are going using a tiny video camera mounted of top of the capsule, which makes piloting it particularly difficult. “You’d have to imagine driving a motorcycle looking through your mobile phone,” said Ben. “And with nothing but that to show them the outside world and no ventilation, it can be claustrophobic. Thankfully the rider is only in there for about seven minutes so it is bearable.” But despite the £150,000 cost of the bicycle, it’s not a comfortable ride. “Inside it is extremely noisy and sounds a bit like a jet engine,” said Ben. “All the sounds from the chain and the wheels reverberate inside the shell. A lot of the time we had problems hearing our rider over the radio.” The bike had six gears, similar to a normal bike, only much larger, “The front chain ring had 104 teeth” said Ben. But the ARION1 rider changed gear only when the bike told him to. The team had worked on perfecting their bicycle for almost two years. “It became an obsession,” said Ben. “The team didn’t bother taking a summer break this year. We stayed at university and worked seven days a week to get it finished.” The world human-powered vehicle challenge takes place every year on Route 305 – a five-mile stretch of road in the middle of the Nevada desert. Teams from all over the world enter vehicles they have designed and built themselves. Speeding up in an attempt to go the fastest is only one thing, though. Slowing down is quite another. “It’s not very easy to slow down after reaching speeds of 75mph,” said Ben. “At the end of the course is a one-mile stretch of track left to stop the bike. And as the rider is unable to stay upright once the bike stops, the team has to catch the bike while it is still moving. That, in itself, takes some skill.” Although the British team did not break the world speed record, their two riders smashed the 13-year old UK land speed record three times. Ken Buckley was first to do it. He clocked 69.7mph, then fellow rider David Collins, a PhD student, notched up 70.6mph, only for Ken to hit 75.03mph – and, in the process, generate enough energy to boil a kettle. “Breaking the British record by nearly 8mph is no mean feat,” said Ben. What was particularly impressive about Ken’s record-breaking run is that he notched up 75mph just 15 hours after a nasty crash at 55mph when a sudden gust of wind and an unexpected bump in the road caused him to lose control of the bike. “Wind and weather are two big hazards,” said Ben. “With such a long course the wind can blow in totally different directions and that can catch the rider by surprise. If Ken had said he wanted to stop then, we would have understood it but he was determined to try again.” And determination is one of the reasons he was selected from the many hopefuls. The riders also needed an excellent sense of balance while lying down. “Essentially you have to learn to ride a bike again because it is so different,” said Robert McKenzie, who has now taken over the project following Ben’s graduation. And the riders needed courage. “It is dark and claustrophobic in the bike and furthermore you are taped in and expected to pedal as fast as you can,” he said. Thankfully Ken was unhurt in the crash but the exterior shell and steering were damaged which meant the UK team had to work through the night to make it possible for their riders to attempt breaking records again. Although the British team were unable to match the Canadian team, whose co-designer and rider Todd Reichert set a new world record of 85.71 mph, they have got their sights set on it next year. ARION 2 will be smaller, lighter and more stable. “We have got the British record at our first ever attempt and if one day we get to bring the world record back to Britain that would be incredible,” said Ken. And INEOS will be there again to support that second attempt. Video

    6 minutes read Issue 9
  • Elements of danger

    What drives someone to want to be the best in the world? INCH spoke to Steve Nash, a chartered electrical engineer who works at INEOS’ Runcorn site in the UK. He has been reaching for the stars for years   IT was an experience like no other. As Steve Nash paraglided over the 8,130ft (2,478m) Nufenen pass in Switzerland, he got caught up in turbulent glacial air. “I was losing height so fast that I thought I had been disconnected from the paraglider,” he said. “It was like flying in a raging waterfall.” As he hurtled towards the ground at eight metres per second, he battled to regain control of his collapsing paraglider and keep his cool. “Thankfully I had been trained to get out of a situation like that,” he said. “But I was still incredibly relieved to stand on solid ground again after that flight.” But that brush with near disaster didn’t stop him from waking at 5am the next day to continue his epic journey across the Alps. And that’s the point. That’s what separates life’s great achievers from the rest, or, in the words, of the man who conquered Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary: “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Steve was competing in the one of the toughest races in the world, The Red Bull X-Alps. Competitors – and every two years there are only about 32 international paragliders brave and fit enough to take it on – can face torrential rain, turbulence, storms, fierce headwinds, white-outs, and freezing temperatures as they hike, run and fly from Salzburg in Austria to Monaco via Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France. There is no set route. Athletes must pass 10 ‘checkpoints’, mostly iconic mountains, but they can decide how to get there. This year’s race was won by Swiss paragliding legend Christian Maurer who landed in Monaco eight days four hours and 37 minutes after setting off from Mozartplatz in Salzburg. It was the fourth time he had won the competition. forty-eight hours later, the race officially ended with Steve, the only Brit and at 52, the oldest in the competition, just 178km away. “For me it had been a unique opportunity to pitch myself against the very best pilots in the world,” he said. After being selected in October 2014, Steve had sought advice from fitness experts, nutritionists, and those who had already done it. “Anyone who competes, at whatever level, wants to perform at their very best,” he said. But it’s not just a head for heights that are needed. “The real dangers are all related to the weather,” said Steve. “Rough turbulence from thermals can collapse the fabric wings and massive cumulonimbus clouds are so dangerous that passenger plans avoid flying near them.” What sets competitors apart is the ability to fly in conditions that most paraglide pilots would never consider safe. “The real top pilots in the world are experts at using adverse weather and making the very best of it,” said Steve. “And that matters because almost all the race is won in the air.” Steve last competed in the race four years ago but was eliminated after he flew eight metres into forbidden air space around Locarno Airport. “I’d never flown into restricted airspace before, but pushing yourself to physical and mental limits means the ability for clear thinking is impaired,” he said. This year he had no intention of making the same mistake twice. And he didn’t. On a good day, he was literally flying, clocking more than 130kms in the air and 70km on foot. On a bad one, he was forced to run or hike with a 9kg back pack. “The worst flying day was from Zermatt, where very difficult flying conditions from strong winds meant I actually went backwards on the course line to Monaco,” he said. The Red Bull X-Alps does take its toll on the body with lack of sleep leading to fatigue. “I remember being asked what I wanted to eat and I couldn’t process the question,” he said. He also lost about 5% of his body weight, despite consuming 4,500 calories a day. Competitors are allowed to hike between 5am and 10.30pm and fly between 6am and 9pm. “Several times I launched from very high mountains at 6am on the dot,” he said. One of the unique aspects of the race is that spectators can track the athletes’ every move online. That would have included Steve’s unexpected landing on someone’s garden lawn near the Swiss/French border. “The owner came out of his chalet to check I was okay and needed a drink,” he said. Steve began paragliding in North Wales in 1990 where the highest peak is just 3,560ft (1,085m). “For me, paragliding is about freedom,” he said. “You can travel more than 100km with no idea where you might land or how you are going to get back to your starting place.” He keeps fit by running and cycling from his home to work at INEOS’ Runcorn site most days. As an employer INEOS understood what drove him and granted unpaid leave so he could train in Brazil, in the winter and spend two months in the Alps in the run-up to the race. “Not many employers would allow you that flexibility,” he said. “But INEOS believes that keeping fit benefits all because fit employees are less likely to fall ill.” So does he want to compete again in 2017? “Absolutely,” he says. “This race has captured the imagination of every pilot who has ever dreamed about crossing a range of mountains as stunning as the Alps. It is simply like no other endurance competition. And having tried twice and got very close this time, I can’t help thinking third time lucky.” video

    6 minutes read Issue 9
  • INEOS gets a licence to explore the UK for shale gas

    INEOS is now the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry. fast work for a company that only started exploring its options in 2014 INEOS has been granted permission by the UK Government to explore huge swathes of England for shale gas. The announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change means INEOS now has licences to explore one million acres of potential shale gas reserves. “We are now the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry and are clearly seen as a safe pair of hands,” said Gary Haywood, CEO of INEOS Shale. Britain is currently one of the most expensive places in the world to make petrochemicals. But INEOS believes an indigenous shale gas industry has the power to revolutionise manufacturing in Britain, give the UK energy security for the first time in many years, and create thousands of jobs. “We have seen at first-hand what it has done for the US economy,” said Gary. “Shale gas is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the UK cannot afford to miss. North Sea oil created great wealth for the UK and shale gas can do the same.” Most of the 21 licences – awarded to INEOS this month (December) – are in places with either a mining or industrial heritage. Areas include land close to its plants in Runcorn, Hull and Newton Aycliffe. “We are delighted that the UK Government is determined to move forward with this exciting new industry,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe. INEOS Shale is INEOS’ on shore oil and gas exploration and production business. The business made its first move into the shale exploration arena in August 2014 when it bought a share of a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence from Dart Energy. Since then it has grown rapidly. In March 2015 it struck a deal with IGas, which gave it access to almost a quarter of a million acres of potential shale gas reserves in Scotland. That was quickly followed by Government approval to explore parts of the East Midlands for shale. But it’s the latest announcement – the awarding of a further 21 licences – which has delighted the INEOS team. “To be awarded so many licences supports our belief that we are the right company to extract shale gas in the UK,” said Gary. “Shale gas is not about short-term speculation for us. It is about securing our manufacturing base which provides thousands of jobs in regional economies many in the North of England and Scotland.” INEOS’ decision, though, to pursue shale gas exploration in the UK has, unsurprisingly, set it on a collision course with environmentalists and protest groups. Opponents of fracking claim it is dangerous and disruptive, triggers earthquakes, contaminates drinking water and the air we breathe. Supporters say – done properly – it is safe, provides countries with a valuable domestic resource, creates jobs, underpins manufacturing and will help to cut carbon emissions by displacing coal, which emits twice as much CO2 compared to gas. Earlier this year (2015) INEOS met local residents, as part of a concerted effort to explain the facts around shale gas development, and answer any questions posed by people in the Scottish local communities living or working in one of our licence areas. “There will always be a hard core of opponents who are philosophically opposed to fossil fuel development, despite shale gas having only half the carbon footprint of coal,” said Gary. “However, many local residents fear shale development for more local reasons – and these are the people INEOS wants to address, to reassure them of the impacts of shale development. We believe that most people are open-minded about shale development, but want more information.” He added: “Reassuring people that the industry can operate responsibly, without long-term damage to the environment or their way of life is critical. It is also vitally important to make the case for why shale gas development is beneficial for communities, and for the country.” INEOS has committed to fully consult all local communities and will share 6% of revenues with homeowners, landowners and communities close to its shale gas wells* “We have the vision to realise that communities must share in the rewards for it to be successfully developed,” said Jim. Working exclusively with INEOS in Europe are the world-leading pioneers who led the development of the first commercial shale play in the US, the Barnett Shale. Petroleum engineer Nick Steinsberger and geologists Kent Bowker and Dan Steward have more than 20 years of industry experience. “They have drilled thousands of shale wells without encountering any major issues and are advising INEOS on how best to safely access Britain’s vast reserves,” said Gary. And unlike many exploration companies, INEOS can use shale gas as both a feedstock and a power source. That means shale gas could also help to underpin the competitiveness of INEOS’ manufacturing sites across the UK for years to come.   *4% to homeowners and landowners directly above wells and 2% to the wider communities.

    5 minutes read Issue 9
  • Iron will

    Abraham Lincoln said if you wanted to test a man’s character, give him power. Sport is another equally important judge, as INCH discovered. THE road to becoming a champion is paved with great sacrifices. But that’s very often the view of someone looking in from the outside. American Bart Connor, one of the greatest gymnasts ever to compete in the Olympics, never saw any of it as a sacrifice. “It was just choices,” he said. “I never felt that I was missing something, only that I chose something else.” And Olympian Josh Davis, who made history in 1996 by becoming the only man in any sport from any nation at the Atlanta Olympic Games to win three gold medals, said the only thing that he gave up was mediocrity. Eleanor Haresign, daughter of INEOS’ Cliff Haresign, understands that mindset. She won her first iron distance event – a 1.9k swim, 90k bike ride and 21k run – at her second attempt when she was 35. “What is a sacrifice to some isn’t a sacrifice to others,” she said. “There are plenty of early mornings, early nights, missed social events, worrying whether you might catch a cold, and feeling exhausted and unsociable. But the feeling of winning or doing well makes everything worthwhile, and it keeps you going back for more.” In short, you have to want to be the best. “You have to ask yourself how badly you want it because even the professional athletes are hurting,” she said. “It often helps to remember that there are many people who don’t have a choice in their lives about suffering pain. I am lucky that I can race hard and embrace the pain, and transcend the limits of what I thought was possible.” But she said it took more than just desire. “There are certain characteristics that are needed to become the best and not everyone will be prepared to accept them. To win, you need to excel physically, but only being physically strong is not sufficient to be a winner. You must delve deep into your mental reserves to override the physiological ‘symptoms’ regarding fatigue or pain.” To beat the best, you need to be more focused, fitter, organised and more prepared. You need willpower, determination, discipline, dedication and drive. For those, like Eleanor, who also have to work part-time to make ends meet, you also need to be able to manage your time effectively. “People sometimes wonder how I juggle work, life and training, and complain that they don’t have enough time to do any sport but I don’t believe that,” said Eleanor, an environmental consultant. “You just have to find ways to incorporate it into your life. What separates a professional sports person from those at a recreational level, aside from talent, is the willingness to integrate it into every aspect of their lives. It’s not just the training. It’s the nutrition choices, looking after your immune system, sleeping enough, stretching enough. Everything you do outside of training is still evaluated in its impact or contribution to your sporting success.” Eleanor’s next goal is to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 2016. To do that, she will need to complete three Ironman events and two half Ironman races over the next 10 months to accrue enough points to rank within the top 35 in the world. Ironman is a challenge designed for the best of the best and has become triathlon’s most iconic, endurance event. In all, about 3,000 athletes from all over the world will line up to swim 2.4 miles (3.86 k), cycle 112 miles (180k) and then run a 26.2-mile marathon (42k) without a break. Eleanor’s dad Cliff said he and his wife Carolyn would do as much as they could to support their daughter from the sidelines. “We started to realise this was turning into something more serious for Eleanor when she started to earn podium places,” he said. “No one undertakes these events lightly. Even completing these races demands great mental strength so it is hard for me even to imagine what it must take to win one.” Eleanor, who completed her first triathlon on a mountain bike with a pannier rack near St Andrews in Scotland, knows. She now enters races as a professional. “Triathlon does demand as much mental stamina as it does physical strength but that is what keeps me going back to the start lime,” she said. “But while Ironman events are rather demanding on the body, it also makes you supremely aware of what you can do to have a healthy lifestyle. You simply cannot ask your body to perform if you don’t pay attention to your diet, sleep and immune system.” Although fiercely competitive, there is much camaraderie amongst the athletes and a real appreciation and respect for one another. “You see a very special side of the human spirit out there on the race course,” said Eleanor.   Charlie goes the distance ONE person who knows how tough an Ironman event can be is INEOS GO Run For Fun ambassador Charlie Webster. The British TV sports presenter completed her first-ever full Ironman triathlon – Ironman UK – in six hours, 20 minutes and 21 seconds. “Considering I couldn’t swim two years ago and I only got my first bike last year, I was over the moon,” she said after the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. “The weather was everything I didn’t want,” she said. “We had strong winds, it was rainy and cold. But the support was amazing. I felt sorry for the incredible spectators who got soaking wet.” 

    6 minutes read Issue 9
  • Global campaign smashes target

    GO Run For Fun has smashed its target six months ahead of schedule. Organisers of the global running campaign had hoped the 100,000th runner would cross the finish line at a GO Run For Fun event in the UK by July 2016. But Jack Ryan became the boy to make history when he joined almost 1,000 runners from 23 primary schools at the INEOS-inspired fun run at Wavertree Athletics Track in Liverpool And there to cheer him – and the others on – was world champion sprinter Richard Kilty. “I have been to six of these event across the country now and it’s been wonderful to witness the campaign grow in size and excitement,” he said. “This is a big day for GO Run for Fun.” Go Run For Fun in numbers 189 events hosted across the UK, mainland Europe and the USA 106,288 runners who have crossed the finish line 1,061 schools that have taken part in the campaign 74 sporting ambassadors inspired to take part, including Colin Jackson and Tanni Grey-Thompson 2,443 volunteers who have got involved to help encourage young children to run

    1 minute read Issue 9
  • Visionary approach

    What do you do when you’ve reached the end of the road? Or in INEOS’ case, you have achieved what you set out to do six months early? You set new goals INEOS – buoyed by the success of its global running campaign GO Run for Fun – is now broadening its horizons to help raise a generation of healthy children. It has added its weight to former headteacher Elaine Wyllie’s vision to get every child in every school running daily to help in the fight against childhood obesity. And it is planning to launch an educational programme around its award-winning Dart cartoons to teach children about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. Elaine pioneered what has become known as The Daily Mile at her primary school in Stirling in Scotland. For the past three years every child in the school has run or walked a mile every day – just for fun. “The running is the reward,” she said. Initially INEOS and Elaine’s focus will be on the UK where one in three children are now classed as overweight or obese. But ultimately, together they hope to have a global impact. “Elaine’s passion, drive and enthusiasm for this are contagious,” said Ian Fyfe, HR Director of INEOS Group, who met her at the flagship GO Run For Fun event at Olympic Park in London in the summer. The GO Run for Fun events – and so far almost 200 events have been held in the UK, mainland Europe and America – are grand occasions, run in a carnival atmosphere with celebrities to inspire the kids. “The Daily Mile is effectively a GO Run For Fun event at school every day,” said Ian. But the aim – and benefits to a child’s health and self-esteem – of both events are the same. “Both of us have planted a seed for children about how much fun it is to be active, out and about in the open air, taking exercise and getting fitter and more athletic,” he said. Elaine has now retired as head teacher of St Ninians School where she launched the brilliantly simple scheme after hearing the pupils were exhausted by just the warm-up before their weekly PE lesson. But her work is far from done. The GO Run For Fun team recently hosted a debate, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park about what needs to be done in the UK to tackle its growing childhood obesity crisis. Elaine was among the four panellists introduced to an audience of journalists and guests by Charlie Webster, a GO Run For Fun ambassador and TV sports presenter. “Childhood is the time to instil the right messages about fitness and what to eat,” said Dr Paul Sacher, another panellist who helped INEOS to produce an educational video aimed at children. “If we miss that opportunity we have not done our job as parents, teachers and as a society.” All four panellists, who also included INEOS GO Run For Fun Director Leen Heemskerk and ‘Marathon Man’ Rob Young, want the UK school curriculum to change so that physical exercise is deemed as important as maths and English, from primary school age. “We have a serious problem out there,” said Paul. “It is now more normal to be overweight.” That’s not the case at Elaine’s former school where not one of the 420 children is overweight. “They look lean and they are energised,” she said “And they are more alert in lessons.” But she told the panel that the school hadn’t always been a picture of health. In 2012, after being told how unfit her children were, she took a class on to the school field and asked them to run around it. Most could only manage one lap. Four weeks later – after the introduction of The Daily Mile – all of them could run the mile without stopping. “I knew it would improve their fitness,” she said. “But I saw more than that. The children were bright-eyed, less fractious, better behaved and seemed happier. It improved their mental and physical well-being so much so that our children now think it is normal to run.” At St Ninians no time is wasted changing into running kits. The children run for 15 minutes in the clothes they wear in the classroom and then get back to work. “It costs nothing and the children enjoy it,” she said. “You just need passion, not facilities.” The GO Run For Fun Foundation shares a similar ethos. The campaign was launched by INEOS in September 2013 with a £1.5 million donation spread over three years to encourage children to run for fun. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, who is a keen runner, hoped 100,000 children would have taken part in one of 100 planned events in the UK by the end of July 2016. To date, more than 188 events have been staged, not only in the UK, but in mainland Europe and Texas in the USA, and the 100,000th runner crossed the finish line at Wavertree Athletics Track in Liverpool last month (November) – six months ahead of schedule. “We have been amazed by the response from around the world,” said campaign manager John Mayock, a three-time Olympic finalist and Commonwealth Games medallist. “It’s fantastic to be making such progress.” And that progress is set to continue as INEOS and its new partners seek an antidote to today’s modern ills.

    5 minutes read Issue 9
  • A new horizon

    Opportunities can come knocking at any time. The secret is to be ready, as INEOS knows only too well INEOS could be sitting on another pot of gold. First, though, it needs to convince the European Union that it should invest some of the €80 billion, which the EU recently set aside for world-class research and innovation, in its ideas. “This is a great opportunity for us because it coincides with so much of what we are already doing,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, who manages INEOS’ Carbon & Energy Network and energises its Research & Innovation issue team. “We just need to be more visible and get involved because there is so much public support out there. Today these organisations can provide 100% of the funding for a project in industry which is fantastic motivation for collaboration.” Greet was talking to INCH after the European Union announced the latest funding under its Horizon 2020 project, its biggest-ever programme to encourage research and innovation. “This investment is intended to help reinvigorate the chemical industry,” she said. Manufacturing plays a central role in the European economy. It turns over €7 trillion a year and provides 30 million direct jobs. Over the past few years, though, Europe’s ability to compete on a world stage has been slowly eroded by spiralling energy costs and restrictive legislation. And as companies have struggled, many R&I budgets have suffered. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said the EU needed to do something to increase Europe’s competitiveness. “Research and innovation are the engines of Europe’s progress and vital to addressing today’s new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies,” he said. Horizon 2020 was launched on January 1st, 2014. Over seven years it has invested €77 billion to support Europe’s economic competitiveness and extend the frontiers of human knowledge. The EU research budget is focused mainly on improving everyday life in areas like health, the environment, transport, food and energy. It also wants to make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together on innovative solutions. INEOS is already working furiously behind the scenes on a raft of initiatives. And it is linked to Horizon 2020 through its membership of a host of organisations including SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), SusChem and PlastEU, all of which have added value to INEOS and help to raise its profile. “All of these platforms share a similar ethos and are aimed at finding new ways of thinking and working to make the European industry more resource and energy efficient,” said Greet. At INEOS she steers the company’s Carbon & Energy Network. It is made up of all businesses with over 100 representatives, all of whom have a genuine interest in improving efficiency in the most sustainable way. Unlike other companies, INEOS does not have – nor does it want – a separate sustainability department. Instead it views it as a fundamental part of how it does business. It wants everyone to think about running the business in a way that safeguards it for generations to come. The same applies to Greet’s network. All its members work elsewhere in the company. But for Greet the focus is not just about saving energy. “It is about seizing the opportunities that are all around us and not let them pass by,” she said. “As ever you have got to fall before you fly. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we can develop a good track record, we can hopefully attract more investment for INEOS.” And that is the aim of creating a dedicated R&I team, within the Carbon & Energy Network, focusing initially on new opportunities. In December Greet addressed the 7th European Innovation Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels. “It is so important that we challenge business scenarios and solutions,” she said. “Why not make roads out of plastic? It’s not the general thought but it is about thinking outside the box.” She said it was vital that all the key industries – chemical, steel, cement minerals, life sciences and engineering – found ways to make the most of their processes by sharing waste streams and resources. Currently, poor understanding of each other’s processes is hindering that development, which she believes is critical if industry is to properly face the challenges ahead. “We need to move from linear value chains to industrial symbiosis,” she said. “All these industries have more in common than they realise and they can work more efficiently together. Let them cross over.” Greet said INEOS Technologies in France was currently starting a four-year European project to find ways for the six global process industries to work better together to save energy, money and resources. The idea for the €5.1 million EPOS project, €3.7 million of which is being funded by the European Union and €1.4 million by the Swiss government, came about through SPIRE. “When the industries got together recently, they thought they had nothing in common, so the mediator asked them to treat it like a speed dating exercise” said Greet. “Within minutes they realised they could work together. It was like ‘oh, you have those. We need those’.” All these platforms, programmes and projects – SPIRE, Horizon 2020 and SusChem – are focused on creating a more sustainable world. “We only have so much in terms of resources,” said Greet. “So we need to challenge our thinking in ways we have never done before.” And that’s something that might just be possible, thanks to the latest boost from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.   INEOS shares in the windfall INEOS is no stranger to winning over the European Union. Working in partnership with others, it has successfully secured millions of investment for projects that have helped to improve energy efficiency, stop resources being wasted and cut emissions. INEOS O&P (Köln), INEOS Oxide in Belgium, INEOS Paraform (a part of INEOS Enterprises) in Germany, INEOS Chlor in the UK and recently INEOS Technologies in France have all been pro-active. “All of these projects have either been successfully completed or are ongoing,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, manager of Cleantech Initiatives. INEOS Paraform won EU funding to implement a novel purification technique to treat waste air in the manufacturing process of paraformaldehyde. The plant, which has been producing chemicals at its site in Mainz, Germany, since 1856, needed to dramatically improve its emissions. “At the time no feasible technology existed to improve the situation so the plant had been running with an exemption permit” said project manager Horst Schmolt. INEOS carried out tests in a laboratory and a pilot plant showed that emission levels could be considerably reduced by setting up a plasma catalytic waste air treatment module on a large scale. “It was something no one in our type of industry had ever tried before,” said Horst. “But it worked.” Meanwhile, INEOS Chlor in the UK helped to secure investment towards developing a new computer system to help companies run their businesses more efficiently, and INEOS Oxide in Belgium worked with representatives from 17 companies from France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Italy and the UK to secure investment to develop a new way of producing liquid fuels from natural gas. Dr Stefan Krämer, site energy manager at INEOS O&P (Köln), is currently involved in two projects which have received a total of €5.5 million in funding from the EU. One will be creating a system that allows the operators of large integrated chemical and petrochemical plants to manage resources and energy more efficiently without affecting production. That system is now being developed so that it can be used by other industries with similar production set-ups. The other seeks to improve the reliability and efficiency of large interconnected systems, such as electric power systems, air traffic control towers, railway stations and large industrial production plants. The latest to benefit is INEOS Technologies in France which is starting a four-year European project to find ways for the six global process industries to work better together to save energy, money and resources. Greet said it was vital that all the key industries – chemical, steel, cement, minerals, life sciences and engineering – found ways to share waste streams and resources. “All these industries have more in common than they realise and they can work more efficiently together,” she said.

    11 minutes read Issue 9
  • Safe and sound

    It’s easy to get bogged down in statistics and procedures when companies talk about safety. But that’s the last thing INEOS wants, as Simon Laker explains THOMAS Edison once famously said: Hell, there are no rules here, we are trying to accomplish something. As a company, INEOS rather likes that concept. It thrives on being different and applauds its staff for taking calculated risks. But when it comes to safety, the rules cannot be broken. They are there to protect people – both inside and outside the business – from harm. “No one should ever go home from INEOS with any injury, let alone a life-changing injury, or worse still, not go home at all,” said Simon Laker, INEOS Group Operations Director who is based at Lyndhurst in the UK. Its rules about safety are there, not only to be understood, but championed by all. “Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the spirit behind what we are trying to do,” said Simon. “We are not machines. Decisions have to be made by people and getting those decisions right every day is how we stop injuries and major process incidents.” Although each business in INEOS is responsible for its own safety programmes, INEOS also adopts a group-wide approach to safety because similar incidents can happen at any one of its sites and the sharing of best practice is critical. “We don’t rely on luck,” says Simon. “Safety is the conscious management of risk. Ensuring people do not get hurt relies on the assessment we make of risk and the decisions we take to eliminate or mitigate that risk. If we get those wrong, someone gets hurt.” INEOS’ most frequent and serious incidents have led to a number of safety initiatives across the Group, which employs more than 17,000 people at 65 sites in 16 countries. In 2012 it introduced the 20 Safety Principles after analysing eight years of incidents in INEOS alongside significant events outside the company, including the explosion at the Buncefield oil depot in the UK in December 2005 in which 43 people were injured when thousands of gallons of petrol overflowed a storage tank and caught fire. INEOS’ root causes – and solutions – to ensure an incident doesn’t happen again are enshrined in those 20 principles, and every three years all sites are audited to ensure that what needs to be done, is done. “We have reviewed all the serious incidents since the 20 principles were introduced and have found that the incidents occurred because one or more of the principles were compromised,” said Simon. “From that we believe that if everyone implemented and adhered to the 20 principles we would eliminate all people and process incidents at INEOS.” Best practice is shared through its INEOS’ group guidance notes. It currently produces 16 notes that cover everything from managing corrosion to identifying safety critical alarms, and it is in the process of producing three more. “All three have been driven by repeat incidents concerning these critical activities,” said Simon. Together the guidance notes and safety principles act as a powerful tool to help keep staff focused on what needs to be done to keep everyone safe from harm. And it’s a continual process of training, feedback and auditing. But accidents do still happen. “We aren’t yet perfect,” said Simon. “But we must strive to be.” Specific holes – areas where INEOS noticed that accidents were still occurring – have now been plugged with seven life-saving rules which were introduced due to the potential for serious injury in these areas. Anyone who flouts one of those rules, which cover everything from working at height to drinking alcohol at work, faces instant dismissal. Over the past six years INEOS’ safety record has improved threefold. But despite a reduction of OSHA injury frequency from 1.13 to 0.4, Simon says that lessons are always there to be learned. Group SHE alerts – simple, one page descriptions of any accident and what actions have been taken to avoid it happening again – are widely circulated. So too are HIPOs – high potential incident alerts – where something could have gone wrong, but didn’t. They are equally as important and shared across the Group. The chemical industry will always be, by its very nature, a potentially hazardous place to work but by following the rules, accidents can be avoided. And Simon remains positive about the future. So can INEOS stop all injuries? “Absolutely,” he says. “If a work activity is fully risk assessed by knowledgeable people, if those risks are mitigated and a conscious decision is made to accept any residual risk as tolerable, then nothing should ever go wrong.” He said unfortunately staff did not have an infinite amount of time to risk assess, so a conscious decision had to be made to stop looking once an acceptable level of risk had been reached. “When this is an unconscious decision, it’s just luck as to whether a significant risk is left or not,” he said. “If we have missed something then we rely on a robust ‘nearmiss’ reporting system to find the problem before it results in an incident. This is why ‘near-miss’ reporting is so important to keeping people safe. We don’t rely on luck.” And can INEOS prevent all process incidents? “Absolutely,” says Simon, “if we have well trained people running well-designed, inspected and maintained plants, within known operating envelopes. If any of these are not correct, either through lack of knowledge or a wrong decision, then at some point a process incident will occur which usually means a release and from then it’s just luck how bad it gets. If we find we are outside our sphere of knowledge, then we have to stop, make the situation safe and involve people who do have the knowledge. We do not rely on luck.”

    6 minutes read Issue 9
  • Debate: Can we really decarbonise the economy?

    LET us put aside the question of whether carbon emissions need to be reduced. If we assume that we do have to take action, there are cheap policies and expensive policies. Our (UK) government has chosen the expensive approach. By trying to pick technological winners and subsidising huge programmes, such as the proposed nuclear power station, the government is taking action that will lead to higher bills and lower reductions in emissions. Instead, we should have simple, straightforward measures aimed at pricing carbon emissions and then allow businesses, households and energy companies to decide how best to reduce emissions.Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, UK   IF we are to bring about decarbonisation, then we need to reform global economic governance. To do this, we need three things. Firstly, we need a global carbon price. Setting higher prices for goods and services with a large carbon footprint provides a greater incentive to reduce emissions. Rules for international trade and investment should also take account of climate change. Despite having made little progress in recent years, the World Trade Organisation remains a forum in which global regulations are designed and implemented. Concluding the Doha Round would allow more green issues to be added to the agenda going forward. Finally, if long-term, low-carbon investments are to be encouraged, it is necessary to reform the international financial system in such a way that commercial banks invest more in low-carbon projects. Current regulations leave little to no scope for doing so. Setting our sights high with regard to the Paris agreement is only the first step. But this will not be enough, as it will take many more actors to step up to the plate if we are to reform global economic governance. We need to keep moving forward after Paris.The German Development Institute   DYNAMIC change is happening in energy supply, but the change needs to happen faster. There are no major economic or technical barriers to moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2050. The renewable energy sector is delivering change, but political action is needed to ensure it happens in time. It is up to political and business leaders to steer industry, influence consumers and stimulate markets towards renewable energy and energy efficiency.Greenpeace   CLIMATE change is a big problem, and it needs big technologies. New nuclear, new gas and, if costs, come down, new offshore wind will all help us meet the challenge of decarbonisation. But it is important to pause and answer this question: ‘what are we decarbonising for?’ Climate action is about our future economic security. But climate change is a global problem, not a local one. Action by one state will not solve the problem. It’s what we do together that counts. But it will not be solved by a group of over-tired politicians and negotiators in a conference centre. It will take action by businesses, civil society, cities, regions and countries. Let’s be honest with ourselves, though, we don’t have all the answers to decarbonisation today. We must develop technologies that are both cheap and green. We need to work towards a market where success is driven by your ability to compete in a market. Not by your ability to lobby Government.Amber Rudd, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change   THE need to reduce global GHG emissions is not news, but there is an increasing urgency of what we have known for decades: we must transition to a low-carbon, green and resource-efficient global economy to mitigate the risk of dangerous climate change. It is apparent, however, that a key player in this transition has been largely overlooked: the financial sector. It has a pivotal role to play in reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases at the required pace and scale, because first, and perhaps most obviously, that’s where the money is. Large amounts of capital are needed for investment in the rapid development of low-carbon energy infrastructure, particularly in developing and emerging economies. The potential role that institutional investors can play in addressing climate change, however, goes far beyond the issue of infrastructure finance. Institutional investors are more than infrastructure financiers: they are owners and creditors of large segments of the global economy. And quite simply, if institutional investors do not systematically reallocate capital from high-carbon to low-carbon investments, particularly in corporate equity and debt, a transition to a low-carbon economy will be virtually impossible.Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP and under-secretary general of the UN

    5 minutes read Issue 9
  • Merger creates winning combination

    INEOS and Solvay have combined their chlorvinyls businesses to give customers a better deal – and keep them at the heart of Europe’s chemical industry. INOVYN is now one of the top three PVC producers in the world. “This is now truly a world-scale business, and well placed to respond rapidly to changing European markets,” said Chris Tane, CEO of INOVYN. News that the joint venture had received European Commission approval was quickly followed by further announcements in September, which included the suspension of the last remaining mercury cellroom at Runcorn in the UK to meet EU requirements, the planned permanent closure of its PVC production facility in Schkopau in Germany and the proposed major investment in a huge production facility at its Antwerp/ Lillo site in Belgium. Production at Schkopau had been suspended since December 2014 because its VCM supply contract with DOW had expired, and sadly all attempts to agree a new competitive long-term contract had failed. In Belgium, though, work had begun on a largescale plant – using the latest technology – to underpin INOVYN’s position as Europe’s leading supplier of potassium hydroxide. INOVYN, whose headquarters are in London, employs 4,300 people at 18 manufacturing sites in eight countries. The business has an annual turnover of more than 3.5 billion Euros. Every year it manufactures 40 million tons of chemicals which find use in almost every aspect of modern society, keeping people housed, healthy and connected. As part of the deal, Solvay, which has a strong heritage in the chlorvinyls industry, will exit the joint venture in 2018, leaving INEOS as the sole owner of the business.

    2 minutes read Issue 9
  • INEOS opens new UK office

    INEOS is opening a new office in London to house its growing UK businesses. The offices will provide a home for a number of INEOS UK businesses, including its oil and gas ventures, its shipping business and its trading business. The building will also be home to the joint venture INOVYN, which controls 14 manufacturing sites across Europe including the massive Runcorn facility in Cheshire. “It makes perfect sense,” said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman and founder. “Although INEOS has business interests across the world, the UK oil and gas business is a key focus for us at the moment.” Rolle in Switzerland will remain the headquarters for INEOS Group and a number of well-established INEOS businesses. INEOS will now formally refer to itself as an Anglo/Swiss company.

    1 minute read Issue 9
  • INEOS to restart US reactor

    INEOS is to restart a reactor which it temporarily shut down three years ago amid difficult market conditions. Although conditions are still tough, INEOS Nitriles is buoyed by the growing global demand for acrylonitrile – the key ingredient in both acrylic fibre and carbon fibre – and its access to cheap US raw materials. INEOS Nitriles is the world’s largest producer of acrylonitrile and acetonitrile. Its plant in Green Lake, Texas, is one of the largest and most efficient in the world and will soon once again be capable of producing 545,000 tonnes of acrylonitrile every year. Manufacturers use acrylonitrile to produce synthetic fibres, engineering plastics, carbon fibre, synthetic ubber and water soluble polymers. Those products are then used to make car parts, clothing, construction materials, household appliances, and sports equipment to name a few. “The chances are that acrylonitrile touches everyone in some way, every day,” said Commercial Director Gordon Adams. There was also some good news for INEOS Nitriles’ Seal Sands asset with a promise to invest in the scheduled turnaround next year. INEOS Nitriles operates four plants worldwide, two in North America, one in Germany and one in the UK. It had halved its production of acrylonitrile at its Green Lake facility in January 2014 due to ‘unsustainable margins’.

    2 minutes read Issue 9
  • Runaway winners

    INEOS’ GO Run For Fun charity found itself in the running for two Cannes film awards in October – and won both. It was honoured at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards, one of the world’s most important festivals in the corporate audiovisual industry, for its Dart TV educational cartoon series. GO Run For Fun commissioned the series, which is free to schools, to encourage children to embrace a healthier and more active life. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, a keen runner himself who founded the charity, joined the Dart TV production team from London-based Media Zoo in Palm Beach, Cannes, to pick up the awards for best CSR programme and best Webisode programme. GO Run For Fun was set up two years ago. Since then almost 100,000 children from all over the world have got involved. “It has exceeded all my expectations,” said Jim. All the Dart films can be found on the GO Run For Fun website

    2 minutes read Issue 9
  • INEOS shares good news

    INEOS has agreed to supply a third gas cracker in Europe with the ethane it plans to import from America. The deal with ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd and Shell Chemicals Europe BV was finalised last month (November) From mid-2017 INEOS’ US shale-derived ethane will be piped from the new import terminal at Grangemouth to the Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran. “This is a landmark agreement for everyone involved,” said Geir Tuft, Business Director at INEOS O&P UK. “We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now seeing this advantage being shared across Scotland.” INEOS will now supply ethane from US shale to its sites at Rafnes in Norway, and Grangemouth and the Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland.

    1 minute read Issue 9
  • Sweet smell of success

    INEOS has bought an aromatics business for almost $63 million. The deal will see INEOS Phenol take over Axiall Corporation’s cumene factory in Pasadena in Texas, America, and transfer its phenol, acetone and alpha- Methylstyrene (AMS) business to INEOS Phenol’s plant at Mobile in Alabama. About 43 people currently work at the Pasadena factory which began operating in 1979 and today manufactures 900,000 tons of cumene every year. Cumene is used to make phenol and acetone, both of which are used in a range of everyday products, including plywood, plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, acrylics and varnishes. CEO Casier said the acquisition of such good quality, well-placed assets presented INEOS Phenol with an excellent opportunity to further improve its competitiveness. “We are already a leading producer of phenol and acetone,” he said. “But through selective investments in new assets and new technology, we intend to further develop our business and grow with our customers.”

    2 minutes read Issue 9
  • The Nine Billion People Question

    The world is filling up. Sustainability must be at the top of everyone’s agenda if we are to survive as a species on a planet with limited natural resources. But with the global population expected to top nine billion in 2050, how can we do both? It’s become the nine billion people question. And opinion is divided BRITAIN’S best-known natural history film-maker Sir David Attenborough is not a man to mince his words. Neither is he prone to exaggeration. Over the past four decades, he has seen parts of the natural world destroyed by mankind to such an extent that animals no longer exist. He has literally witnessed nature change in front of his eyes. And he blames the growing population. “I have no doubt that it is the fundamental source of all our problems, particularly our environmental problems,” he said in a recent interview with The Wellcome Trust. “I cannot think of a single problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve if there were fewer people.” He said during his career, the world’s population had tripled. “If we are able to stem it, we might have a better chance to grapple with the problems but we cannot,” he said. “The best we can do is slow down the rate of increase. I thank God that the Trust has administrators who are scientists, not politicians.” Last year in an interview with INCH magazine, Jonathon Porritt, one of the world’s leading environmentalists, said he too was putting his faith in the chemical industry to play a pivotal role in tackling the challenges of sustainability. And it is. Since the first historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero in 1992, the global chemical industry has helped to enable farmers adopt sustainable agricultural methods and ensure more and more people can access cleaner, safer drinking water. Further work has led to medical breakthroughs, transformed the way energy is used and helped to cut greenhouse gases. The International Council of Chemical Associations, the worldwide voice for the chemical industry, said such progress had been the result of innovative ideas, technologies and processes all made possible through chemistry. INEOS is one such company which works to develop innovative, sustainable solutions to complex and challenging issues because it recognises that it can have enormous influence on what the world does now – and in the future. One of its products that makes a huge difference to the world’s nutrition and health is acetonitrile, which is used to make essential drugs such as insulin and antibiotics, and also plays an important role in treatments for cancer. The clear, liquid solvent is also used to produce agrochemicals which ensure higher crop yields. INEOS currently meets about half of the global demand for acetonitrile. And much of what it doesn’t produce is manufactured by others using its licensed technology. There is no doubt that humanity faces profound questions about how the planet is to sustain nine billion people beyond 2050. Demand for food is rising, natural resources are challenged, and climate change has created a need for new, lower carbon energy sources. Tim Benton, a professor of population ecology at the University of Leeds in the UK and a food security expert, said people had to understand – and recognise – the finiteness of the world to give us what we want. “It is the only way we’ll ever approach sustainability,” he said. “Demand is the killer. And unless we tackle demand, we will over exploit land and water and accelerate climate change.” By 2050 the planet will have to feed a third more people but there is only so much land that can be farmed. “Surely technological advances will make our use of land more efficient, but we cannot extract ever more from ever less,” said Tim. “The only way we’ll ever approach sustainability is to moderate our demand.” He said the world currently produced enough calories for 12 billion people but people in the developed world ate too much, a good proportion went to feed livestock and the rest was wasted. “It’s not about formulation and individual nutrients, or 3-D printers,” he said. “It’s about building resilience, reducing waste and modifying our diets. In future, the agriindustry cannot persist with the ‘demand is growing, we have to supply it at all costs’ mentality. It simply has to change.” Friends of the Earth, which has been campaigning for more than 40 years to improve the well-being of the planet, recently launched its Big Ideas Change the World, a three-year project. A spokesman said the extreme pressure that people, predominately those in developed countries, had put on the planet needed to be significantly and rapidly reduced. “It is a herculean challenge and, without a global population peak this century, it may well be impossible,” he said. But opinion, about whether the world is doomed or not, is divided. “It has been a race between the exhaustibility of resources and innovation and so far innovation has won,” Citi’s chief economist Willem Buiter recently told INCH magazine. “We have several thousand years of human history to support us on that so I am reasonably optimistic.” Robert Aliber, a professor of international economics and finance at Chicago University, said he too remained untroubled. “Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 that unchecked population growth would doom the Earth to starvation,” he said. “He has been proved wrong for the past 200 years so why should he be right in the next 100?” Overcrowding is a problem in some corners of the world. That’s a fact that cannot be denied. Award-winning Danish photographer Mads Nissen said he witnessed the problem of too many people living in too little space when he visited Manila in the Philippines nine years ago. In 1980, 50 million people lived in the Philippines. That number is expected to rocket to 180 million by 2050. “Manila is already one of the most overpopulated places on earth,” he said. “Families live in home-made shacks built in cemeteries, or between railroad tracks or under bridges. They live wherever they can find some space. Even the city’s toxic garbage dumps are home to people who eat, sleep and live surrounded by rotting trash.” But the World Population Balance believes that the future can be changed in a humane way. “We can create a new vision, a new dream for the planet,” said founder and president David Paxson. He said the solution was a global campaign to encourage people throughout the world to have fewer children. “Today we are spending millions to create a more sustainable planet but all we are getting is a more polluted one,” he said. “Sustainability on an overpopulated planet is impossible and the world is significantly overpopulated right now.” He claimed two billion people now lived in poverty. “That is more than the population of the entire planet less than 100 years ago,” he said. Mr Paxson said it would be an uphill battle to successfully cut the population but nothing compared with coping with overpopulation’s devastating consequences. The debate over how on earth we can feed nine billion people will continue to divide opinion. But as that debate continues, it falls to the chemical industry, which is at the start of almost all other industry, to continue to focus its efforts on producing essential items to help tackle many of the issues presented by an ever-changing world – in a more efficient way and in a way that not only reduces its own impact on the environment, but also the impact of industries it serves. And it is not just about saving money. INEOS knows it has a huge responsibility to provide the materials necessary for the technologies of tomorrow, to use fewer raw materials to help society to consume less energy in a world with finite resources. That is why you’ll find INEOS at the heart of the chemistry behind our basic human needs. The need for food, transport, communications, water. And for energy. It has been providing that chemistry for years. And it intends to do so for generations to come.

    10 minutes read Issue 8
  • The Most Crowded Place On Earth

    If you love people watching, Mong Kok is the place to be – if you can stand the crowds. For this Hong Kong district is believed to be the most densely populated place on planet Earth. With more than 340,000 people per square mile, nothing comes close. Charles Reynolds, though, who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for the past nine years, says it doesn’t feel overly crowded. “I have been to other places where it’s just chaotic and people cannot move,” he said. “But in Mong Kok the foot traffic flows quite nicely.” Just about everything you can imagine is bought, sold or haggled over in Mong Kok where there are entire streets dedicated to selling luck-bringing goldfish, flowers, kitchenware and bath tubs.

    1 minute read Issue 8
  • Clean Energy

    Global demand for energy has been rising ever since the 18th century when mankind started using the earth’s natural resources to fuel the Industrial Revolution. It brought great change across the world. But the recent rapid industrialisation of countries like India and China continues to fuel a further huge increase in demand. So what does the future hold? THE demands for global energy are unlikely to trouble the average man or woman in the street. But Governments, scientists, academics, environmentalists and energy-intensive companies like INEOS are continually looking at improving energy efficiency. It’s a major concern. Fossil fuels currently feed manufacturing plants around the world, where tons of chemicals are manufactured every day so that others can produce everything from paints to plastics, medicines to mobile phones and cars to clothing. “Many of the problems that threaten mankind’s survival on the planet results from the increased consumption of energy, water and raw materials,” said a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe. So what are the alternatives? Could wind farms and harnessing the sun’s power hold the answers? Yes, say Friends of the Earth Europe. In part, says INEOS. They are part of the energy mix but they won’t meet mankind’s needs all the time. It will take decades, however, to fully transform how Europe generates electricity and heat, so in the interim INEOS has to rely on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. But gas has around half the emissions of coal, so INEOS believes it has an environmental duty to encourage a move towards gas rather than coal. Renewable technologies are important customers of INEOS. INEOS make the raw materials that go into wind turbines and into solar cells. Raw materials that are made from the molecules we get from gas. “Gas is needed in the long-term as a raw material to underpin manufacturing” says Leen Heemskerk, Chief Financial Officer of INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe (North). Gas is not just a fuel that INEOS burns for energy. t is also a raw material used in the manufacture of chemicals that have application in a wide range of essential products including medicine, clothing, buildings, vehicles, computers, and green technologies, such as wind turbines and energy efficient materials. INEOS will still need gas to make these essential items once it has made the transition to low-carbon energy. It is vital, therefore, that Europe has a secure and competitive long-term supply of gas to underpin the future of the manufacturing sector. “INEOS support the innovation drive to find alternative energy sources but we need to be realistic at what pace we can de-carbonise our economy,” said Leen. The world currently consumes about 529 quadrillion British thermal units every year. Fossil fuels currently supply nearly 80% of the world’s energy. And industry, which supplies the products on which society depends, is its biggest customer. America, with just 5% of the planet’s population, currently consumes about 20% of the world’s total energy supply. But the global demand for energy is expected to double by 2040 as people in India and China, which between them contain more than a third of the planet’s people, get richer and want more energy-consuming goods such as computers. Environmentalists say society must change its ways if it is to avoid an energy crisis and have a hope of averting climate change. Increased regulation and restrictions on greenhouse gases, have helped, they say. But Friends of the Earth Europe believes wealthy nations also need to cut down on the amount of energy consumed. So too does the European Commission. It is setting ambitious targets for Europe that could ultimately force industry to drastically cut down on the amount of energy it uses. Video INEOS argues that this could have unintended consequences, including a shift of investment and a growth of industry outside of europe. “There is a very big misunderstanding of the chemical industry,” said Greet van eetvelde, INEOS Manager of Cleantech Initiatives. “We are energy intensive but we are not energy inefficient. We are continually looking at ways to reduce the amount of energy we use to produce our products. It makes good business and environmental sense. But we are also carbon intensive. We use those gas molecules as raw materials. We still have got a long way to go before the officials understand what we are about. To them, industry is just industry. But the process industry is different, and without the chemical industry in particular, modern life would not be possible.” Dan Byles, chairman of the UK Government’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Unconventional Oil and Gas, said it was not whether the world wanted low carbon energy that was in question. “It is the pathway to getting there,” he said. “Gas must be seen as a bridging fuel between an energy system still dominated by oil and coal and the low carbon future energy mix that we all want to see.” He argued that a choice should not be forced between gas or renewables. “We need both,” he said. “And we will do for some time.” Coal – the worst offender – has fuelled China’s meteoric rise from a small, emerging market into the second biggest economy in the world. But it’s come at a huge cost to the environment, with China now emitting more CO2 than any other country in the world. Last year China’s dependence on coal fell for the first time this century and was coupled with a rapid increase in the use of renewable energy. That, said Greenpeace east Asia, gave the planet a ‘window of opportunity’. “The significance is that if the coal consumption growth we have seen in China in the last 10 years went on, we would lose any hope of bringing climate change under control,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, energy campaigner at Greenpeace east Asia. “It may not be the peak yet but it is a sign that China is moving away from coal.” Alternative energy sources need to be found because, as the world’s population grows, so too will the demand for energy. In the developed world, access to safe, reliable and affordable energy has transformed people’s lives – and it could do the same for those living in the poorest places in the world. One who wants to see that happen is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, one of the richest men on earth. “In the rich world, we are right to worry about conserving energy, but in poor places, people need more energy,” he wrote in a recent blog. “For countries to lift themselves out of poverty, they need lights in schools so students can study when in the dark, refrigerators in health clinics to keep vaccines cold and pumps to irrigate farmland and provide clean water.” Mr Gates said the onus was now on wealthy countries like the US to invest more in research into clean energy. “It’s about developing energy sources that produce zero carbon,” he said. The chemical industry, although it consumes much of the world’s energy supply, is at the heart of many of those developments – and is helping to decarbonise the world economy. Global emissions have been cut thanks to improvements – driven by the chemical industry – in insulation materials for the construction industry, chemical fertilisers and crop protection, plastic packaging, lighting, marine anti-fouling coatings, synthetic textiles, automotive plastics, low-temperature detergents, engine efficiency, and plastics used in piping. “These savings highlight the vital role of the chemical industry in decarbonising the economy,” said a spokesman for the International Council of Chemical Associations. “In reality, achieving the equivalent CO2 savings without the benefits of chemical products and technologies would not be possible.” The use of chemistry in energy-saving products, such as building insulation, compact fluorescent lighting, and lightweight plastic vehicle parts, saves America alone up to 10.9 quadrillion Btus of energy and up to $85 billion in energy costs annually. In layman’s terms, that means the US has cut its energy consumption by 11% and has saved the energy needed to power 135 million vehicles for a year. “That is 55% of all the cars on the road today,” said Ryan Baldwin, spokesman for the American Chemistry Council. The International Council of Chemical Associations said recently that chemical products for vehicles were now saving 230 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. And INEOS is at the heart of many of the advances being made by manufacturers to make cars lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient. Plastic is one. Carbon fibre is another. But there are also a host of other raw materials made by INEOS that are finding their way into fuel efficient tyres, and synthetic oils that are improving engine efficiency. INEOS also manufactures components for wind turbine and products for the solar industry. In short, it is enabling other industries – the renewables sector – to save energy and cut CO2 emissions. The transition to renewables, though, is unlikely to happen overnight because, although the renewable sector is growing, it is not growing fast enough and the available green technologies do not generate enough energy all the time to meet the demand. The National Academies, advisers to America on science, engineering and medicine, says reducing the amount of energy lost is as important to our energy future as finding new sources. “Gigantic amounts of energy are lost every minute of every day in converting it into a useable form,” said a spokesman. That, too, is an area in which INEOS works creatively. It has to, if it wants to stay in business in Europe where the cost of energy is now twice as high as it is in America. “We have got to continually maximise our energy efficiency,” says Jean-Noel Large, who has been given the job of improving the efficiency of the Petroineos at Lavera in France. “It is up there with the safety of the site.”

    13 minutes read Issue 8
  • Shale Gas Is The Path To The Future

    INEOS’ decision to pursue shale gas exploration in the UK has set it on a collision course with environmentalists and protest groups. But INEOS is not one to run from a challenging situation especially when it believes it is the right thing to do. INEOS is now officially the third largest shale gas company in the UK. Its deal with IGas – announced in March and finalised in May – has now given it access to almost a quarter of a million acres of potential shale gas reserves in Scotland and the North West of England. “These are first-class assets that have the potential to yield significant quantities of gas in the future,” said Gary Haywood, CEO of INEOS Shale. In August INEOS was awarded three additional shale gas licenses from the UK Government. The additional acreage cements INEOS position as one of the UK’s leading shale gas businesses. The company believes an indigenous shale gas industry will revolutionise manufacturing in Britain (currently one of the most expensive places in the world to make petrochemicals), give the UK energy security for the first time in many years, and create thousands of jobs. But public support remains a challenge for this nascent industry across the UK. In March INEOS had been buoyed by a Greenpeacesponsored survey which revealed more people in the UK supported fracking than opposed it. “It clearly showed that more and more people are seeing the potentially huge benefits of UKproduced shale gas,” Tom Crotty, INEOS CorporateAffairs Director, said at the time. “UK shale gas is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. North Sea oil created great wealth for the UK and shale gas can do the same.” Opponents of fracking claim it is dangerous and disruptive, triggers earthquakes, contaminates drinking water and the air we breathe. Supporters say – done properly – it is safe, provides countries with a valuable domestic resource, creates jobs, underpins manufacturing and will help to cut CO2 emissions. America is already proof of that. There, fracking has led to a manufacturing renaissance, created thousands of jobs, driven more than $150 billion worth of investment – and helped to slash US carbon emissions by displacing coal, which emits twice as much CO2 as gas. In 2012 energy-related CO2 emissions, according to the national Energy Information Agency, fell to their lowest level since 1994 because of shale. In April and May this year INEOS met with local residents for the first time, as part of a concerted effort to explain the facts around shale gas development, and answer the questions posed by people in the Scottish local communities which would be directly affected. “There will always be a hard core of opponents who are philosophically opposed to fossil fuel development, despite shale gas having only half the carbon footprint of coal,” said Gary. “However, many local residents fear shale development for more local reasons – and these are the people INEOS wants to address, to reassure them of the impacts of shale development. We believe that most people are open-minded about shale development, but want more information. It is an important part of our job to give people the facts, so they can make an informed decision on whether shale gas can happen safely and successfully within their communities – which we very much believe it can.” The meetings achieved their goal and communities appreciate the opportunity to hear from INEOS first hand, and the opportunity to get their questions answered. The team will be following up the first set of public meetings with exhibition-style events in Scotland in September. “Reassuring people that the industry can operate without long-term damage to the environment or their way of life is critical,” said Gary. “It is also vitally important to make the case for why shale gas development is beneficial for communities, and for the country.” Shale gas is widely viewed as the most important bridge to any future renewable – and affordable – energy source because of its low carbon footprint – half that of coal. As it stands, rising energy costs in Europe threaten to undermine the ability of manufacturers in the EU to compete on the world stage. The UK is currently losing jobs to the US where they have access to cheap gas, thanks to shale. In an attempt to protect its UK petrochemical business before it’s too late, INEOS is already investing $1 billion to import shale gas from America to make its site in Grangemouth profitable and to enable the long-term growth of its site at Rafnes (Norway). In a world first, those shipments of liquefied ethane will begin arriving in Rafnes later this year, and into Scotland next. “Our success in the UK depends on access to competitive energy and feedstock supplies,” said Tom. “Having access to more competitivelypriced feedstock and energy would transform the fortunes of the UK petrochemicals industry and help it to compete in a global market.” It is hard to believe that Britain – as the founder of the industrial revolution – was once the powerhouse of world trade. Today manufacturing in the UK is perceived as an industry of the past and has steadily declined with the loss of more than three million jobs over the past 20 years alone. Yet the chemical industry is even more relevant – and important than ever in helping to create a greener economy – today. Although it may still rely on fossil fuels to run its plants, it is estimated that for every ton of CO2 it uses, more than two tons are saved by its products, which include catalysts, insulation, components for wind turbines, and solar cells. Drilling for shale gas may be a new venture for INEOS in the UK, but the INEOS team is being guided by three world-leading pioneers who led the development of the first commercial shale play in the US, the Barnett Shale. Since the development of the Barnett, they have gone on to work on many other shale plays in the US and around the world. Petroleum engineer Nick Steinsberger and geologists Kent Bowker and Dan Steward, who are now working exclusively for INEOS in Europe, have more than 20 years of industry experience. They have drilled thousands of shale wells without encountering any major issues and will be advising INEOS on how best to safely access Britain’s vast reserves. “We believe our knowledge and experience in running complex petrochemical facilities, coupled with the world-class, sub-surface expertise we recently added to our team, means that INEOS will be seen as a very safe pair of hands,” said Gary. He added: “Shale gas is not about short-term speculation for us. It is about securing our manufacturing base which provides thousands of jobs in regional economies.” For information about shale gas Gas who needs it vid Hydraulic Fracking vid

    16 minutes read Issue 8
  • Köln Visit: Energy Efficient

    The European Commission wants drastic cuts in energy consumption in Europe. It argues that it will be good for the environment, for jobs, energy security and the economy. INEOS, which spends 1.3 billion euros on energy every year, begs to differ. THE European Commission is being urged to understand the significant day to day focus that the chemical industry has on improving its energy efficiency instead of imposing yet more targets. It is appealing to the Commission, which wants a 27% reduction in energy consumption by 2030, to see that saving energy is already a fundamental part of how INEOS operates. “We don’t need more regulations or targets,” said Tom Crotty, INEOS Group Communications Director. “Energy efficiency is already a core business value because it makes good business sense. And nearly every technology available and affordable to reduce energy consumption has already been installed at our sites. To us a further cut in energy consumption would mean a cut in production.” The Commission believes setting an ambitious energy efficiency target will be good for the environment, for jobs, energy security and the European economy. INEOS, which spends 1.3 billion euros on energy every year, says the target is unrealistic, unworkable for the chemical industry and threatens to kill the industry in Europe and, with it, six million jobs. INEOS believes the problem partly stems from the Commission’s lack of understanding about the importance and on-site reality of the chemical industry. “We already have a competitiveness problem in Europe,” said Tom. In a concerted effort to be heard amongst many people who responded to a European Commission consultation on its 2030 climate and energy policies, INEOS and CEFIC invited representatives from the Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy to visit the Köln site. “INEOS has been working with great success on energy savings for years,” said Gerd Franken, CEO INEOS O&P North. “And we believe our sites are amongst the most energy efficient in the world.” The Köln site in Germany employs 2,000 people from 28 nations, and covers an area the size of Monaco. It spends 90% of its expenses on energy and feedstock and uses enough to heat, light and power 200,000 homes. The site might use a lot of energy but that does not mean it is inefficient. Stefan Krämer, energy manager at the site, showed the DG Energy delegation how everyone on the site already worked together to save energy. “It is quite a challenge as internal energy networks at the INEOS site in Köln need to be balanced,” he said. “The nitric acid and acrylonitrile process, for instance, generates steam, and crackers and butadiene production need heat and therefore use steam.” By-product hydrogen, rather than being flared, is used thermally in the power plant instead of natural gas – a move that has saved 80,000 MWh a year of natural gas. And improvements to the cooling tower have saved a further 13,000 MWh a year of electricity. “INEOS really is determined to use and reuse everything it produces,” said Gerd, “It makes clear business and environmental sense.” During the visit, Brigitta Huckestein, Communications and Government Relations from BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, also appealed to the Commission to see sense. For the first-time ever BASF has announced a strategic cutback in European investment, citing stagnant markets, expensive energy and expensive labour. Brigitta said BASF was struggling to find any further measures to reduce its energy consumption and C02 emissions. The Ludwigshafen site of BASF is the biggest and most efficient, integrated site in Germany. But she argued that the integrated production would lose efficiency if a renewable energy surcharge was applied to selfproduced power from a CHP plant after 2017. “It will also reduce the competitiveness of this most energy-efficient installation,” she said. “In short, we already feel driven out. If regulations stipulate the production of basic chemicals in Europe as a measure to reduce European energy demand, we feel it will be dangerous for the German and European economy because value chains will be destroyed. And if conditions are not favourable, we will invest elsewhere.” Koln video Alistair Steel, a representative from CEFIC, which is the voice of the chemical industry in Europe, said affordable energy was the key to growth. “The competitiveness depends on the industry’s access to competitive, reliable energy supplies,” he said. The cost of producing ethylene in Europe is now twice as high as in the US where cheap shale gas has led to a manufacturing renaissance. And while INEOS’ profits in Europe have halved in the past three years, its profits in the USA have tripled. “We can only cut so much energy,” said Greet van eetvelde, Manager of Cleantech Initiatives and based at INEOS’ head office in rolle, Switzerland. “The European Commission has to decide whether it wants a chemical industry in Europe. It is impossible to meet these targets without significant investment and the economic climate in Europe makes this difficult.” even if INEOS wanted to fund clean technology, it faces an uphill battle. “Banks like safe bets,” said Tom. “They do not like new technologies. Often the funding of new technologies is also dependent on support by the government which includes a political risk.” Stefan said the chemical industry had been working on ways to make their production plants more efficient for years. “The self-commitment of the industry to energy efficiency started long before EU directives in 1996,” he said. Last year INEOS chairman Jim ratcliffe warned that Europe’s chemical industry was facing extinction within a decade. “I can see green taxes. I can see manufacturing being driven away,” he wrote in an open letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, then president of the European Commission. He urged the Commission to wake up. “Worldwide the chemical sector has revenues of $4.3 trillion,” he said. “That’s bigger than the GDP of Germany. In Europe, chemicals and autos share top billing with $1 trillion each. Economically speaking chemicals is one of Europe’s jewels in the crown.” INEOS is hopeful that the Köln visit may have opened eyes in Brussels. Paul Hodson, a member of the Commission delegation, said in an email to INEOS that it had given them a valuable insight into – and understanding of – the chemical industry. He said a thriving European industry was at the core of the Commission’s concerns and that its policies would seek to increase the industry’s competitiveness. What the European Commission wants by 2030 27% reduction in energy consumption (non-binding for industry) At least 27% increase in renewables 40% cut in carbon emissions

    11 minutes read Issue 8
  • A Question Of Mindset

    Changing the workplace is easy; changing people’s mindsets is not. But with the right approach, it’s not impossible NO ONE likes change. At least that’s the theory. But the reality is that some people do. And some don’t. Companies, looking to win over all their staff, perhaps just need to change their approach. The master of management, the late Peter Drucker, was very clear about the best way for an organisation to implement change. “You have to infuse your entire organisation with the mindset that change is an opportunity and not a threat,” he said. “People are secure if they realise that this time of sudden, unexpected and radical change is a time of opportunity.” Someone who understands that change can cause emotional upset – and lead to a dip in performance – is Dr Fred Wadsworth, a medical director at UK-based Corperformance which has worked closely with INEOS in the past. “Poorly-managed change processes can be seen as a threat and cause classic stress responses,” he said. But he said the fear of implementing change should never deter a company from seeking change. “An appetite for change needs to be present and developed but that can be achieved by setting members of staff effective goals, in which they believe,” he said. “Those threatened by the journey are usually the hardest to persuade.” But even those, can be won over. John Reh, a senior American business executive and author, said understanding what – and how – things needed to be done, was half the battle. “You have to help your people understand what the change will be, when it will happen and why it needs to be done,” he said. Roberta Katz, an Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning at Stanford University in America, described change as an iterative process. “Individuals within an organisation will get on the change train at different times,” she said. “The leader will have to keep repeating the vision and repeating the strategy so that when everyone is finally on the same train, they will have heard the same message, and will understand the goal to which they are all working. If you are the leader expressing the change, you are bored, you are ready to move on, but you have to remember to keep saying it because even if someone has heard it 10 times, you may not get them to understand until the 11th time when something happens in their life to make it meaningful.” Resistance to change can often spring from a fear of the unknown. “We resist change but fear of the unknown can result in clinging to status quo behaviours, no matter how bad they are,” said Dr Stan Goldberg, a former clinicalprofessor at San Francisco State University. That fear is often based on staff perception. And perception matters because it is their reality. The good news, says Dr Wadsworth, is that perceptions – just like personality – can be changed. “Personality is a fluid thing,” he said. “Values may be set in our teenage years and be like anchors on a seabed but the way we behave is more fluid, like buoys floating on the sea. They remain connected to our anchors but are open to change. That is why goals which are linked to our values are more likely to be achieved than those that are not.” The late Mr Drucker said if a change looked like an opportunity, a company should put one or two good people to work on it. “You need someone at the top who enjoys the unexpected,” he said. “That is crucial because there will be a great many surprises, and if every surprise is a threat, we won’t be around for very long.” Mr Drucker said rapid change could be achieved without upsetting people if the staff trusted the company. “Building trust is not rocket science,” said James Hec, a member of the faculty of theHarvard Business School. “It should be pretty simple, in fact. Don’t create expectations that can’t be met. Share knowledge. Hire, recognise, and fire the right people. Be consistent and predictable and avoid large-scale layoffs as much as possible.” Dr John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor, has written almost 20 books about leadership and change. Last year he launched Kotter International Center for Leaders, a firm of world-class experts in helping organisations change. “The rate of change is increasing faster than our ability to keep up,” he said. “Yet we expect leaders at all levels to deliver ever-better results – and sooner.” David Carder is an engagement leader at Kotter International in America. “We have seen many companies that are unable to truly capitalise on technology and change the way they want to because they are held back by their hierarchy and structure,” he said. The bottom line, said Mr Drucker, is that change is painful, risky and requires a great deal of hard work. “Unfortunately, you cannot manage change,” he said. “You can only be ahead of it. You can only make it.” Top 5 tips for a company wanting to implement change 1 Keep staff in the loop – people like to know what is going on, especially if their jobs are directly affected2 Inspire your staff – appeal to people’s aspirations and desires. Goals that are linked to their own values will be more achievable3 Think ahead – changes should be made in the long-term best interests of the company, not simply to save money in the short-term4 Be understanding – staff are more likely to accept change if they fully understand the reasons for it5 Be realistic – Unrealistic goals increase fear, which increases the likelihood of failure

    6 minutes read Issue 8
  • The Changing Face Of Grangemouth

    The face of Grangemouth is changing. And with it, comes the promise of a new and exciting future. ONE of the largest ethane storage tanks ever to be built in Europe is taking shape. Once completed, the 60,000-cubic metre tank will hold 30,000 tons of liquefied ethane gas – and herald a new era in the manufacture of petrochemicals. “The skyline at Grangemouth has changed somewhat since the 40-metre tank wall was built,” said Alan MacMillan, O&P UK ethane project manager. “These are exciting times for the O&P UK business and the tank is tangible evidence of the investment being made.” INEOS raises the roof vid The construction of the tank is just one element of a number of synchronised projects and activities that forms O&P UK’s vision for a sustainable and viable future. INEOS is investing about £450 million to transform the loss-making Scottish manufacturing site, which employs more than 1,300 people directly, into one of the best in the world. “It is the most significant investment into UK and Scottish petrochemical manufacture of recent times,” said John McNally, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers UK. “And it clearly demonstrates our commitment to Grangemouth.” INEOS needs the ethane, which will begin arriving from the US next year, to replace the dwindling stocks from the North Sea. Only by securing sufficient raw materials to run the manufacturing plants optimally and at full capacity – something it has been unable to do for many years – can the Scottish site begin to turn around its fortunes. In addition to the storage tank, the ethane supply project encompasses significant infrastructure work. The business is making changes to its jetty and offloading facility, where the state-of-the-art ships will dock, and laying miles of pipes to transfer the ethane to the tank and on to the manufacturing plant. INEOS constructs ethane tank vid The work will be carried out by a number of contractors who have been hired to ensure the project is completed on time, safely and within budget. “Working alongside the many different companies and across a number of interfaces is a complex and challenging task,” said Alan. The plan being implemented at Grangemouth is very similar to the one recently undertaken at INEOS’ Rafnes plant in Norway where the company has successfully built the infrastructure to enable it to import ethane from the North American shale gas fields this year. Long-term contracts have been agreed with American suppliers to pipe the shale gas ethane cross country to the east and Gulf coasts of America from where it will be shipped across the Atlantic to Norway – and in 2016 to Scotland – in a fleet of eight specially-designed ships commissioned by INEOS. In the meantime, as Grangemouth awaits those shipments, the O&P UK business continues to work on its strategic survival plan, which will protect the long-term value of the site by creating a global leading chemicals and manufacturing hub with the potential to become a centre of excellence and innovation in Scotland.

    3 minutes read Issue 8
  • How The Mighty Can Fall

    No one can be complacent in today's fast-paced environment. In today’s fast-paced environment, companies rise and fall faster than ever before. The biggest threat is perhaps complacency. Or as the late Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone, put it; “Kill complacency before it kills you.” Here are six companies that were once deemed leaders in their field, before they all sadly lost their way Blockbuster Few could have predicted how this success story would end. Blockbuster was once the undisputed leader in video rental with a market value of $5 billion. It employed 60,000 people and had 9,000 stores throughout the world. Then Netflix started sending films through the post and cable and phone companies started streaming movies into people’s homes – and Blockbuster failed to respond to customers’ changing habits. Kodak NO ONE came close to rivalling Kodak for almost 100 years. The company was built on a culture of innovation and change; it was destroyed by complacency. Most people owned a Kodak camera and used Kodak’s trademark film. But what the company didn’t picture was its own demise with the advent of digital photography, a technology that it invented. It failed to act swiftly enough and others moved in for the kill. Polaroid Apple’s iconic inventor Steve Jobs is believed to have idolised the man who pioneered the iconic Polaroid SX-70. For Edwin Land was the first to mix cutting-edge technology with design. At its peak in 1991, sales of its mainly instant cameras and film almost hit £3 billion. But its great undoing came when it failed to embrace the digital photography revolution and went bankrupt 10 years later. Motorola It’s hard to believe that Motorola built and sold the world’s first mobile phone, and in 2003 introduced the biggest-selling mobile phone ever at the time – the Razr. But Motorola failed to focus on smart phones that could handle email and pictures and rapidly lost market share. Commodore International Commodore International was one of the first computer companies to successfully compete for the home market. Its relatively small machines were well made and cheap. In the early 80s, two million Commodore 64s were being snapped up every year and the company had cornered almost 50% of the market. Then it released the smarter Commodore plus/4. A smart move one would think but the company alienated its core customers. The new model was incompatible with the old one which customers loved. The company went bankrupt in 1994. ICI ICI was once a symbol of Britain’s industrial might. At its peak the company, which invented polythene, employed 130,000 people and was one of the biggest chemical companies in the world. But in the 1990s it became too complacent. Paul Hodges, a senior executive at ICI until 1995, said the company became increasingly risk and decision-adverse. “It lost the cuttingedge, the drive to try out new directions,” he said. “Instead, ‘no surprises’ became the motto.” It moved into speciality chemicals and sold its commodity chemicals business to INEOS, under whose ownership it has grown from strength to strength. Meanwhile ICI’s earnings continued to fall. The company was eventually sold to Dutch company AkzoNobel in January 2008 and its adhesives and electronic materials businesses was bought by Germany’s Henkel three months later.

    3 minutes read Issue 8
  • Change Of Scene

    Comfort zones are not for everyone. Especially men like Tony Moorcroft. To him, a change is always better than a rest, as INCH discovered ON 19th March 2003 American President George Bush addressed the world. In a live TV broadcast, he said that the Allied campaign to disarm Iraq, free its people and defend the world from grave danger, had begun. Watching events unravel, perhaps more closely than others, was Army reservist Tony Moorcroft, thousands of miles away at his home in the UK. For his specialist maritime regiment had already become the first to be compulsorily mobilised since the Second World War. He had received a letter, sealed in a brown envelope, in the post two months earlier. “At the time I had opened it and briefly read it before setting off for work, but I didn’t fully take in the content until a few hours later when I suddenly realised this was for real,” he said. Understandably his family were more worried than he was. “You know that it’s what you have been trained and signed up for so you become totally focused on the hour by hour, day to day tasks which enable you to overcome any fears or trepidation,” he said. “But they have to get on with a things in as normal a way as possible.” A week after he had received his call-up papers in January 2003, he had left the family home in the north of England and joined his 165 Port and Maritime Regiment, a specialist, logistical unit, as part of Operation Telic 1. Their job for the next five months would be to keep Allied Forces alive as they landed at critical locations in Iraq and Kuwait. As a non-commissioned officer he also had the added responsibility of looking after a team of men. “That really focuses the mind to achieve the outcome everybody wants which is to return safely to family and friends,” he said. Although thousands died in the conflict, Tony lived – and returned to his job as HR director for INEOS ChlorVinyls and INEOS Enterprises. “After a brief period of leave, I wanted to get back into civilian, normal life as quickly as possible,” he said. “For me it was fairly easy to adjust because as soon as I returned to work, I was back into a busy schedule. Family, friends and colleagues, though, gave me a great deal of support and didn’t pester me with endless questions, and the support I received from INEOS was fantastic. Many reservists were worried about their jobs back home. I wasn’t which meant I could focus solely on making sure everyone came home safely.” It was an experience, though, that would change his life. “I learned a lot about myself and others but it’s not one that I would repeat without trepidation,” he said. “I value life more and I think I now handle difficult situations better.” “I initially joined to enhance my engineering skills and further my career,” he said. “But being a reservist has changed my life in more ways than one and INEOS as an employer could not have done any more. In the Army Reserve you learn to prepare for very demanding environments where you have no choice but to take responsibility and be accountable for your actions. We face similar challenges and dilemmas in the chemical industry. Over the years I have found that both roles complement each other with the need for leadership, team work, discipline, integrity and respect.” He must also have been doing something right. For last year he was nominated for a Queen’s Birthday Honour – the Queen’s Volunteer Reserve Medal – for exemplary meritorious service in the conduct of their duties by his commanding officer Lt Col CK Thomas RLC. Only 13 are awarded each year. “My initial reaction was shock,” said Tony, 55. “But it very quickly turned to pride because so few of these medals are presented each year which makes it very special.” He was presented with the medal at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles who recalled meeting Tony in 1993 at the Battle of the Atlantic commemorations ceremonies in Liverpool. “He was particularly interested in my switch from the Navy to the Army because we had both served on the same class of ship during our careers,” he said. Badge of honour ACCOLADES don’t come much higher in Tony Moorcroft’s book than the Queen’s Volunteer Reserve Medal. But then again, neither does the praise that earned him that prestigious award. His commanding officer, Lt Col Colin Thomas, who nominated him for the award, said Tony continued to stand out as an exemplary and selfless individual even though he was now nearing retirement. “He has always been known for his team spirit and readiness to sacrifice his own ease and comfort if it would help his colleagues,” he said. “All those who work with him, and perhaps most importantly those whom he commands, view him with the utmost respect. He is wholly committed, totally dependable and has unbridled enthusiasm, even after more than three decades of both naval and military service.” Lt Col Thomas said Tony cared deeply for the welfare of his soldiers when they were deployed in Iraq in 2003. “In addition to his main job, he put a huge amount of energy into turning his hand to repair or improvise basic facilities which ensured that morale remained high,” he said.

    5 minutes read Issue 8
  • Debate: Is Change Always A Good Thing

    Some people thrive on change; others will do all they can to resist it. But are those who advocate that change is a good thing, always right? INCH sought the opinions of those with something to say Change is not always a good thing. It may force us out of tired habits and impose better ones upon us, but it can also be stressful, costly and even destructive. What’s important about change is how we anticipate it and react to it. Change can teach us to adapt and help us develop resilience, but only if we understand our own capacity for growth and learning. When change makes us better, it’s because we have learned how to turn a challenging situation to our own advantage, not merely because change happens.Rick Newman, author of Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success and a columnist for Yahoo Finance One of life’s constants is change. Ready or not, it happens. We grow. We age. Technology reinvents each new day. Some relish change; others resist. We like it best on our terms, but don’t always have that option. Sometimes all we can do is cope with it. When given the opportunity to exert our will in the matter, we’re wise to proceed with caution. Change for the sake of change is a risk – the grass on the fence’s other side isn’t always greener. The relentless pursuit for “better” can sometimes leave us bitter, regretting changes we didn’t need to make.Bob Tamasy, author and Vice President of Communications Leaders Legacy, Inc. Change isn’t inherently good or bad. It’s something that is inevitable. Problems are created by the speed at which it occurs and the threat it poses to those being asked to change. A helpful maxim is that the smoothest journey occurs when what you’re asking a person, organisation, or country to do, is almost as easy as not changing. Unfortunately, those who push for change are shocked when there’s blow-back. Even the most basic understanding of the principles of change would make transitions easier, whether it’s the head of a country proposing universal insurance, the CEO of a corporation after for more accountability from his employees, or a wife annoyed at her husband’s messiness.Stan Goldberg, author of “I Have Cancer,” 48 Things To do When You Hear the Words and eight other books on the sharp points of life Change is inevitable, but are we always forced to change because we live in a highly-connected, fast-paced global environment? I think change for the sake of change has nothing to do with true innovation and fostering creativity or acquiring new knowledge and learning the necessary new skills to stay competitive. For big or small businesses any change in brand identity such as image, logo, slogan, has an impact on the brand image and how the customers perceive the products or services. In most cases, loyal brand lovers hate change so before implementing any change, you need to ask: What additional value do I bring to my customers, employees and other stakeholders?Anne Egros, global executive coach Many people hate change, yet others look forward to it. Resistance to change is normal yet a very destructive thing. Some managers fail to recognise the symptoms of change as directly related to proposed or actual changes, such as high staff turnover, conflict, lateness, mistakes, injuries, low morale and lowered productivity.Eve Ash, Australian psychologist and managing director of Seven Dimensions Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change. Winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that we have resisted it in the past.Tom Peters, American writer on business management practices Change is good. It’s also often hard. The status quo can be so much more comfortable. But to succeed in business, you must run towards it. This is the fastest-changing communications and technology landscape we’ve ever been in. Twenty years ago, you probably didn’t have an email address, and now it’s hard to imagine life (or your business) without email. Ten years ago, Facebook didn’t exist, and now one-and-a-quarter billion people and millions of businesses use it to communicate. Even if you’re not directly involved in the communications or technology industries, there’s no doubt that technology has played a huge role in changes in your industry. These changes mean you have to change.Dave Kerpen, New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.The late George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics

    4 minutes read Issue 8
  • In Safe Hands

    INEOS is obsessive about safety. It has to be. Lives can be at stake if it gets things wrong. But when mistakes are made, INEOS is keen to ensure valuable lessons are learned every time COMPLACENCY kills businesses. And in a potentially hazardous business like INEOS, complacency can also costs lives. One man whose job is to help fight against it is Steve Yee, INEOS Group Safety Health and Environment Director based at Runcorn, UK. “It’s so important that safety is always at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” he said. “We all know that the sustainable long-term future of our businesses rests on our track record on safety, health and the environment.” Whatever INEOS is doing, though, seems to be working. Last year INEOS’ overall safety record improved 23% on 2013 and its environmental breaches hit an all-time low. “It was our best-ever safety and environmental performance,” said Steve,who collates the Group’s safety reports. He said INEOS had often seen year-on-year improvements but this was one of the biggest. “What has been particularly pleasing is to see sites, which were not among the best safety performers, showing improvements,” he said. “When that happens, it shows very clearly what can be achieved if we set our minds to it.” INEOS recently switched to OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), a stricter, US-based system of recording workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses so that outsiders could judge its performance against the very best. “We can now see that INEOS compares well against the likes of Shell and Dow Chemical,” said Steve. “But whilst we are catching up, we are still behind.” INEOS views an OSHA performance of 0.23 as being the best in class. “Dow is amongst one of the top performers,” he said. “We are at 0.40.” In December Steve and Simon Laker, INEOS’ Group Operations Director, visited Dow’s HQ in America to understand how it managed to achieve such an impressive performance. “A number of factors came out and a particularly important one is that whilst the OSHA performance may be improving, the number of life-changing injuries is not,” hesaid. “The same is true for us, so clearly we have to be more focused on what we need to do to avoid the more serious injuries and fatalities.” Steve also realised that reporting across all countries needed to be at a high level if INEOS was ever going to see real improvement. “As a management team we are very focused on reporting,” he said. “It’s absolutely no good if the first injury we hear about is a fatality or a loss of limb.” In an effort to make a difference, INEOS launched a group-wide initiative late last year after a member of staff at one of its production sites by-passed a safety system to speed up the job. “New initiatives are always introduced when we review incidents that have occurred because we see what we need to put in place to prevent repeats,” he said. “Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident but it was good that it was reported to us.” The life-saving rules now make it easier for everyone to see what INEOS expects – and also help to ensure the safety basics are in place everywhere. Steve said those rules would be seen by everyone. “What makes it easier to check that messages have been clearly communicated to all and understood is INEOS’ management structure,” he said. “We don’t have a huge corporate headquarters. Each site is very much accountable for its actions.” The rules INEOS introduced seven life-saving rules after a worker bypassed a safety system to speed up his job. Those rules are: No consumption or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs on company property No smoking outside dedicated smoking areas No work on live equipment/machines to commence without authorisation Safety critical devices/interlocks must not be disabled or overridden without authorisation Persons working at height must use proper fall protection No entry to confined space without authorisation and gas test Lifting & hoisting – no unauthorised person to enter the defined danger zone where objects can fall

    4 minutes read Issue 8
  • Breaking The Mould

    The late Steve Jobs had a strategy and a vision for Apple and it started with the customer, not the engineers or the company’s awesome technology. The focus was always on the incredible benefits Apple could give its customers. Styrolution shares that vision STYROLUTION has come a long way since 2011. For the staff it has been quite a journey. For the customers, it has been proof that industry consolidation can work together for the greater good. Today INEOS Styrolution is a wholly owned business having bought BASF’s 50% stake in the 2011 styrenic plastics joint venture for €1.1 billion last year. And the future for the customers – if it is at all possible – looks even brighter. The automotive industry will be among those to benefit most from INEOS’ latest decision to merge two of its businesses and create a one-stop shop for styrenics, which makes plastics for car components, electronic devices, household appliances, medical equipment, packaging and toys. “It is something that no other company can offer on this scale,” said INEOS Capital Directorand Styrolution chairman Andy Currie. “And that is powerful for us and our customers.” The decision to merge INEOS Styrolution and INEOS ABS was made in March this year – just months after INEOS acquired BASF’s share in Styrolution, the global market leader for styrenics. Andy said the merger made perfect sense and offered ‘further tremendous opportunities for growth’. INEOS ABS is the largest producer of styreneacrylonitrile polymers in North America and is well known there for shaping the interiors of cars. INEOS Styrolution, which operates 15 manufacturing sites in nine countries, has historically had a stronger position in exterior automotive applications. “The businesses complement each other beautifully,” said Kevin McQuade, CEO, INEOSStyrolution. “High performance and premium aesthetics are key buying criteria for our customers in the automotive industry. And that’s what sets our products apart. We are passionate about giving our customers the best solution. It is in our corporate DNA.” He added: “In the past, we may have had both companies competing for the same business but now we can build upon each other’s strengths to provide customers a more comprehensive offering.” At the recent international NPE trade show in Orlando, Florida, INEOS Styrolution and INEOS ABS shared a booth and offered customers a glimpse of the future. “We were able to show them that the possibilities of styrenics are endless and they were excited by what they saw,” said Kevin. “Quite simply we have always been helping others to shape the future of the automotive, healthcare, electronics, household, construction and packaging industries through styrenics.” INEOS and BASF had formed the joint venture in October 2011 amid challenging market conditions. Overnight they created a truly global business and secured their number one place in the global styrenics market with a world-class, global manufacturing platform offering customers supply security, access to the very best technology and a broad product and service portfolio. Together they were also stronger and more efficient. And within two years – instead of the forecasted five – they had generated €200 million in cost savings. “We created a completely different and unique company,” said Kevin. “It was a game-changer.” As part of the joint venture agreement, though, INEOS always had the right to buy out BASF – a decision it took in November last year. INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe described the acquisition as another important step in the growth of the Styrolution business. “We are pleased to bring Styrolution fully into the INEOS family,” he said at the time. INEOS Styrolution is now a wholly-owned INEOS business – and looking to expand. “Styrolution already has a global asset footprint but new markets are emerging,” said Kevin. “We intend to expand our footprint in Brazil and in Asia, particularly China. This is an outgrowth of our Triple Shift strategy, which calls for expanding our position across customer industries, standard ABS and styrenic specialties, and emerging markets. With plants all over the world, there is no need to ship goods from Europe to America or vice versa. The goods are on the doorstep of our customers. We really are a truly global business within INEOS.” INEOS Styrolution sells its products to the automotive industry as granules. Those granules are then further processed by manufacturers to make and shape parts, for example, for cars. “Whatever they can imagine, they can make,” said Kevin. Another industry which works closely with INEOS Styrolution is the construction industry – and it shows. “Our customers in the construction market are at the leading edge of innovation and are continually challenged to bring higher endurance, longer lasting, more cost effective and aesthetically-pleasing products to the marketplace,” said Thomas Hazenstab, Specialities Business Director. Together they have created products such as decking, fencing and railings that fare better in bad weather and can also withstand high temperatures. “We pride ourselves on working closely with customers to develop new products that meet their specific needs,” said Thomas. “It’s about setting industry trends. We want to offer the best possible solution to give them a competitive edge in their own markets.” Kevin said innovation had been key to the business’ success and would be, even more so, in the future. “To thrive in the specialty markets, we need to create added value through innovation for our customers,” he said. “That’s why we enter into collaborative innovation with our customers to develop new styrenic solutions for the products of tomorrow. Cutting-edge solutions and applications, product and process innovations differentiate us from our competitors and foster our preferred partner position.” Styrolution is also the leading, global supplier of styrenics to the electronics industries, which also ensures computer casings and monitors are strong and heat resistant. A major part of printers made in the world today contain Styrolution polystyrene or ABS products. Both Styrolution and INEOS ABS are also expected to benefit from the merger by reaping synergies which will enhance the efficiency of the business. Core functions such as marketing and sales, customer service, research and development, supply chain, manufacturing, finance and human resources are being merged and best practices are being shared. Not only will this benefit the whole organisation but customers will enjoy the advantage of having a central source to fulfil all their styrenics requirements. “There have been a lot of changes for people within the business,” said Kevin. “But for our customers, the key message has been continuity. If there are any changes, they will be for the better. This company is in it for the long-term.” Styrolution vid 2

    14 minutes read Issue 8
  • INEOS Gains Interest Of Lenders

    INEOS is not one to miss an opportunity, especially when it comes to managing its financial affairs more efficiently. And this year has been no exception A robust performance and INEOS’ reputation as a company that can make money helped it to iron out three separate deals during the first half of this year – and slice a further €80 million off its annual interest bill. “Although it means investors won’t make as much money in interest, it means INEOS can focus on strengthening the business, and is seen as a better ‘risk’, which is always good for lenders,” said Peter Clarkson, Head of InvestorRelations at INEOS. The money saved in interest payments, on the latest €4 billion debt to be refinanced, is likely to be reinvested in the business. “It is hard to say exactly what will be done with the extra cash flow,” said Peter. “But what it does do is give us more flexibility when we are considering business improvements or even some bolt-on acquisitions, to which we remain alert and opportunistic.” Over the past four years INEOS has – in a succession of tactically smart moves – refinanced the $9 billion it borrowed in 2005 to buy Innovene, BP’s olefins, derivatives and refining subsidiary. And in doing so, it has helped to save the company €405 million in interest charges. “Since 2011 we have been in a process to improve the debt structure of the group after the restrictions that were put in place after the financial crisis of 2008,” said ChiefFinancial Officer Graeme Leask. “That is what has enabled us to reduce our cash interest bill from €763m in 2010 to €358m now.” In April 2012 INEOS made history in the financial world when it achieved the largest-ever covenant-lite loan for a European company and the largest globally since the credit crunch began in 2008. Michael Moravec, head of European high-yield syndicate, described it as a staggering achievement by a company. “Management can now concentrate on what it does best, which is managing a chemicals business,” he said at the time. INEOS has now refinanced most of its loans that were nearing maturity. “Taking out the next big tranche of debt requires us to pay a significant premium now, but the premium will reduce and may be a more attractive proposition next year,”said Peter.

    2 minutes read Issue 8
  • INEOS channels energy into new TV show

    It hopes IN:TV, which will be broadcast from a different site every month, will strengthen the bond between its growing, global workforce and the company. INEOS External Affairs Director Tom Crotty, who will host the 15-minute programme, will be joined each time by a special guest presenter from the local plant. “In just 17 years INEOS has grown from nothing into a global chemicals’ giant with over 53 manufacturing sites around the world and nearly 20,000 employees,” he said. “Sometimes communicating to so many people is a real challenge.” The first episode was filmed at Grangemouth in Scotland where Tom was joined by Jennifer Prentice, an award-winning chemical engineering graduate in O&P UK. “I really think with the innovation of IN:TV that we are leading the way in staff communications for the petrochemicals sector,” said Tom. “And given the importance of video and social media to the younger generation, who represent our future employees, and customers, we want to provide as much information as possible to them.” Each episode will highlight the latest news from around the group but employees will also be given the chance to ask chairman Jim Ratcliffe any questions. The programme is online – for all to view – at

    3 minutes read Issue 8
  • Insight and Ingenuity join INEOS’ fleet

    TWO state-of-the-art ships commissioned by INEOS to transport tons of liquefied ethane gas from the USA to Europe have been officially named. JS INEOS Insight and JS INEOS Ingenuity began work in July. Emblazoned on the side of one of the huge vessels is ‘shale gas for manufacturing’; the other bears the slogan ‘shale gas for chemicals’. The ships were named at Qidong near Shanghai, where the first of a fleet is being built for INEOS by SINOPACIFIC. Offshore and Engineering, one of the largest shipbuilders in the world. Each ship is the length of two football pitches and can carry 40,000 barrels of ethane. Steffen Jacobsen, CEO of Evergas, the Danish gas shipping company that designed, leased and operates the vessels, has worked in the shipping industry for 35 years. “These ships represent a world first on many levels,” he said. “No-one has ever tried to ship ethane in these quantities and over this distance before. To do this, we had to invent completely new ways of doing things. These ships are truly unique.” The naming ceremony marked the latest landmark in INEOS’ $1 billion global project to bring shale gas from the USA to its manufacturing plants in Norway and Scotland. INEOS will be the first company in the world to opt to ship shale-gas derived ethane from America where the gas has led to a renaissance in manufacturing. Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS founder and chairman, said the scale of the project, which will help revolutionise the European chemicals industry by bringing US economics to Europe, was extraordinary. “We’re going to move more than 40,000 barrels of gas a day, every day of the year, for 15 years, from the US to Europe,” hesaid. “Any way you look at it, this is an extraordinary achievement.” INEOS names its Dragon Ships vid

    4 minutes read Issue 8
  • GO Run For Fun breaks record

    INEOS GO Run For Fun team has recently staged its biggest-ever event at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London when 6,000 children ran the 2km course alongside a host of Olympians and TV personalities. “We know that many parents worry about their kids eating too much and not getting enough exercise,” said Leen Heemskerk, The GO Run For Fun Foundation Project Director. “The GO Run For Fun charity aims to tackle that problem in a fun way and the huge numbers who took part show that many people share our concerns.” Daley Thompson, the British Olympic gold medal winner, led the charge and handed out some of the prizes. “It was a fantastic day for all the children,” he said. “Everyone had a great time and also learned a bit more about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.” GO Run For Fun is now the world’s biggest children’s running charitable foundation. As well as the run itself, GO Run For Fun also launched a new kids cartoon series based on Dart, the charity’s mascot. Dart TV is aimed at 5 to 10-year-olds and explains the importance of a good diet and regular exercise. During the day Charlie Webster, a former Sky Sports presenter, chaired a round table discussion looking at the need to get children active early if Britain is to tackle childhood obesity. “Physical inactivity is an important factor in the current UK child obesity epidemic,” said Dr PaulSacher, an internationally respected child health and obesity expert. “Considering one in three children are overweight and obese and around 80% of children are not meeting the Government’s physical activity guidelines, it is essential that we support initiatives such as GO Run For Fun.” Daley was joined by Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson, and Commonwealth gold medal winner Louise Hazel. Also supporting the event was Britain’s very own Marathon Man, Rob Young, who has previously set his own world record by running 370 marathons in 365 days. “This was a really important day for GO Run For Fun,” said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chairman andfounder of GO Run For Fun. “On one level, this was about thousands of kids enjoying themselves and learning about the importance of nutrition and exercise. On another level, it is about getting the Government to realise that they need to do much more to help the under 12s get fit and active.”

    4 minutes read Issue 8
  • World-Leading Pioneers Join INEOS’ Team

    The three world-leading experts, who are credited with perfecting shale gas extraction in America, are now working exclusively for INEOS in Europe. Over the next five years petroleum engineer Nick Steinsberger and geologists Kent Bowker and Dan Steward will be advising INEOS how best to safely access Britain’s vast reserves. All three worked for Mitchell Energy & Development, which pioneered the most effective method for safely extracting shale gas in the Barnett Shale in America and led to the development of the shale gas boom in US. “They bring a vast experience of successful shale gas production,” said Gary Haywood, CEO of INEOS’ newly-formed shale team, INEOS Upstream. “We are confident that our US team, together with our own experts, can safely and efficiently develop a successful business in Scotland, which will play a part in securing the energy supply of Scotland and the UK, and will bring significant economic benefits to the country and to the community.” Nick, Kent and Dan have been working in shale gas extraction since the 1980s and are regarded as leaders in their field. Tom Crotty, INEOS Corporate Affairs Director, described Nick as the best on-shore gas petroleum engineer in the world. “INEOS is one of the world’s biggest chemicals companies,” he said. “We are used to safely running huge petrochemical complexes. And now we have some of the world’s leading shale gas experts on our team who collectively have drilled thousands of wells. We believe that the combination of our expertise as a global petrochemicals company and their expertise in shale gas should begin to show people that we are committed to a very high safety standard and the responsible extraction of gas from shale.”

    2 minutes read Issue 7
  • £230m Loan Guarantee Helps INEOS Raise Finance For Grangemouth's Future

    For INEOS’ petrochemicals plant in Grangemouth, the good news continues. Confirmation of a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK government this summer has now helped INEOS to raise the finance necessary to ensure INEOS O&P UK can build a tank to store imports of low-cost ethane from America – and turn its loss-making business into a profitable one. Chief Financial Officer Gerry Hepburn said the government’s financial backing had been seen by INEOS as ‘critical’ to ensuring the long-term future of one of the largest manufacturing sites in the UK. “The loan guarantee shows support for both the UK petrochemicals sector and for one of the most important infrastructure projects in Scotland,” he said. “We have now been able to use the loan guarantee to raise INEOS funds through a public bond issue. The proceeds of the bond are now being be used to fund the ethane tank project.” INEOS has already invested more than £300million at its Grangemouth site as part of its long-term survival plan to ensure the site can manufacture petrochemicals beyond 2017 when its current gas supply agreements end. Traditionally Grangemouth has relied heavily on ethane gas from the North Sea but those supplies are dwindling and the INEOS plant has been forced to run at reduced rates. Importing ethane, which it uses as feedstock, from the US will help INEOS to return its plants to full production and improve operating costs, underpinning the future of manufacturing at Grangemouth. “Without doubt, this is one of the most important projects of recent times in Scotland, with implications to be felt right across the UK, not only for employment but also for manufacturing in general,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe. INEOS has hired Germany-based TGE Gas Engineering to build the ethane storage tank, which will be the largest in Europe and capable of storing 33,000 tons of ethane.  “The construction of the storage tank is complex and needs specialist knowledge,” said John McNally, CEO, O&P UK. “But we know we are working with a company that are truly leaders in their field.”  TGE built the INEOS ethylene import tank in Antwerp, Belgium, and are currently building the ethane import tank at INEOS’ plant at Rafnes in Norway. Planning permission for the construction of the ethane tank at Grangemouth was granted by Falkirk Council in May this year. “It will be very rewarding to see the renewal of the site starting to take shape as we begin construction work,” said Gerry. Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the Grangemouth guarantee was fantastic news for Scotland’s economic future, and for the UK’s energy security. The amount of US ethane being imported will enable the ethylene cracker at Grangemouth to double production. 

    2 minutes read Issue 7
  • A Land Of Opportunity

    Having already clinched game-changing, 15-year deals with America to import its low-cost, shale gas-based ethane, INEOS decided it was time to take a look at how the US did it and what lessons Europe could learn. Ships, which the world has never seen before, leave America’s shores for the first time next year. On board each vessel will be thousands of tons of liquefied ethane destined for INEOS’ gas crackers in Europe to help provide raw materials that are running out in the North Sea and to reduce the operating costs of its gas crackers. Every day 40,000 barrels of shale gas-based ethane, which has been chilled to -140 degrees Fahrenheit, will leave Marcus Hook in Philadelphia for Norway and Scotland in the UK. Dragon Boats Vid “Nobody has ever shipped ethane in these quantities around the world before,” said INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “These vessels have never been designed before and never crossed the North Atlantic before. This is a world first.” INEOS needs ethane to make high value petrochemicals but if its businesses in Europe are to remain competitive, it must ship supplies from America, where there are sufficient quantities at competitive prices. “We are effectively shipping US economics to Europe,” said Jim. The state-of-the-art ships, currently being built in China, are highly efficient and will have double engines so they can operate in the harshest of conditions. Meanwhile INEOS is building new export facilities in the US and storage tanks at Rafnes and Grangemouth. The journey across the Atlantic Ocean will begin at Marcus Hook, the site of a former crude oil refinery, which produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. About 500 people lost their jobs when the loss-making plant was finally shut down in 2011 due to difficult market conditions. Today it is being transformed into a major centre for processing and shipping natural gas liquids thanks to its links with Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale industry. “It was a bit of disaster area,” said Tom Crotty, INEOS Corporate Affairs Director. “Much of that town was built around industry with businesses such as the refinery. Jobs depended on it. But suddenly this community, which thought it was dead on its feet, has been brought back to life again, thanks to shale gas.” Marcus Hook is also where Jim and a team from INEOS began their recent, fact-finding tour of America. INEOS, which has invested in its own team of experts to weigh up the pros and cons of pursuing shale gas exploration in the UK, wanted to see – and understand – how it might work in Europe. The group spent a day at Marcus Hook before visiting the Barnett shale field in Texas – home of the very first drilled horizontal well. Explaining how it worked was Nick Steinsberger, described by Tom as the best on-shore gas petroleum engineer in the world. “A lot of others had dabbled and given up, but Nick worked out how to fracture the rock,” said Tom. “He was the first to use what is called slick water hydraulic fracturing to crack open the Barnett shale field in Texas. He opened the door to the development worldwide. He made the breakthrough.” Nick worked for Mitchell Energy & Development when with its founder George Mitchell. The company was sold for $3.5 billion in 2002. Today Nick runs his own business. Nick later escorted INEOS’ delegation to south west Pennsylvania in the Marcellus shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world. “He wanted us to see it because it is similar to Europe with green, rolling countryside,” said Tom. “And now, there are also a lot of strict regulations in place.” For Tom, it was an eye-opener. “One of the public’s biggest concerns is the effect on the countryside,” said Tom. “I had imagined it would be like Texas with nodding donkeys all over the place but in the biggest shale gas area in America, you cannot see anything. There is nothing to be seen, and nothing to be heard. It is just bubbling away like a bottle of pop. The reality is that a single well takes three weeks to drill and one week to fracture, when there is a lot of activity on the site, and then that well can give you gas for anything between 20 and 50 years.” The UK is currently the only country in the EU to seriously consider fracking. Gary Haywood, who is leading INEOS’ shale gas project team, said the British Government had recognised that shale gas had the potential to provide the UK with greater energy security, growth and jobs. “People want an affordable and reliable energy supply,” said Gary. “About 85% of UK homes rely upon gas for heating or cooking, and our indigenous UK supply has now dwindled to less than 50% of our demand. We have a clean energy resource in the UK shale that is ready for development, and this can bring a wide range of benefits to the country. INEOS is keen to be part of this development, and we will be pursuing sensible opportunities to develop shale gas for the company and for the country.” There are currently more than 176 Petroleum Exploration Development Licences (PEDL) for onshore oil and gas in the UK. More on-shore licences were awarded this year. Communities and landowners are being offered incentives to allow companies to drill, but INEOS says they do not go far enough. “We think that communities should share in the benefits if gas is being supplied from under their land,” said Tom. “The offer of £100,000 is not enough to make people think that it’s a great idea so we have announced plans to give 6% of our shale gas revenues to homeowners, landowners and communities close to our wells. We estimate that we will give away over £2.5 billion from our new shale gas business.” Opposition to fracking in the UK has deepened since the protests at Balcombe in West Sussex last year. “The drilling in Balcombe provoked some emotional reactions,” said Tom. “But the issue is that people are not generally well informed about shale gas production. The ‘anti’ lobby have whipped up irrational fear of this technology, largely via misleading propaganda.” Tom and his team are keen to do something about this. “We’ve produced a short film that tells people the real facts around shale gas production. We want the public to hear the real story,” he said. Tom says that the film debunks some of the myths around the impact of shale gas production, and also outlines the important benefits that the industry can bring to the UK. “It is important that people are given all the facts and they can then make an informed decision,” said Tom. “The industry can bring much-needed jobs, and can secure the energy supply for the people of the UK via production of a clean fuel that has half the greenhouse gas impact as coal.” The other big unknown is how continental Europe will respond. “I am not sure how long they can ignore this issue,” said Tom. “Some believe the US has shot its bolt and the gas is going to be gone in a few years time but it won’t. We met companies in the US that had only so far drilled less than 10% of their acreage - there is a long-term industry and supply in place via shale gas production in the US. And renewables will not do the job. Gas is the perfect complement to renewable energy because you need a back up. If the wind does not blow, you cannot turn the fridge off.” INEOS’ 15-year deals with America to import ethane are seen as a stop-gap while Europe makes up its mind. “It buys us time,” said Tom. “It bridges us for the next 15 years until the point when we hope we are going to have an indigenous UK shale industry which can supply that ethane.” Hydrolic Manufac Vid

    20 minutes read Issue 7
  • Cracking Investment

    Shale gas is driving investment in the US, and it shows no signs of letting up. The American Chemistry Council says US chemical investment linked to shale gas has now topped $100 billion. And INEOS is among those parting with their money. INEOS has built one of the largest ethane-cracking furnaces in the world to take advantage of America’s low-cost shale gas. It has invested $115 million in a new furnace at the 2,400-acre Chocolate Bayou Works manufacturing complex in Texas to produce competitive ethylene, a chemical that is used by manufacturers to make everything from soaps to paint to clothes to plastic bottles to cosmetics. “This now means we won’t lose capacity every time we have to take down one of the other six furnaces to clean them,” said Dennis Seith, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA. “That, in turn, improves our overall reliability.” INEOS now operates the second largest ethylene site in the US and the fifth largest in the world, and thanks to state-of-the-art technology, the new furnace has lower environmental impact. “It produces lower emissions per ton of ethylene production and employs the best available industrial technology for emissions control in the industry today,” said Dennis. INEOS began planning to build the furnace in mid-2011. It was started up in April this year, 28 months after the first construction contract with KBR was signed. The project swallowed more than 564,000 construction man-hours – the equivalent of 60 years – during which time construction workers installed eight miles of new piping and 26 miles of new electrical and instrumentation cable. “It was a tremendous result and one that was delivered safely,” said Dennis. “It also secures the future of our site for the next generation.” The American Chemistry Council says US chemical investment linked to shale gas had now topped $100 billion. As of February this year, 148 projects including new factories, expansions and process changes to increase capacity, had been announced. “This is an historic milestone for America’s chemical industry and proof that shale gas is a powerful driver of manufacturing growth,” said ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley. “Thanks to the shale gas production boom, the United States is the most attractive place in the world to invest in chemical and plastics manufacturing. It’s an astonishing gain in competitiveness.” INEOS’ new furnace will add up to $55 million profit to the bottom line every year. “This has all been part of our plans to add capacity to take advantage of ethane produced from US shale gas and is consistent with our long-term strategy to improve site scale and ability to access low-cost ethane feedstock from shale gas,” said Dennis. The good news for American investment, though, does not end there. In August INEOS and Sasol finally reached an agreement to build a new plant together to produce 470,000 tons of high-density polyethylene a year at LaPorte, Texas. The plant will be built at INEOS’ Battleground Manufacturing Complex and should be operational by 2016. “This investment will allow INEOS to meet our customers’ needs for additional bimodal products,” said Dennis. “It also supports INEOS’ strategy to invest and to capture synergies on our major sites.” The 50/50 joint venture, which was initially discussed by the two companies in July 2013, will use Innovene™ S process technology licensed from INEOS Technologies. The ethylene needed for the production of the high-density polyethylene will be supplied by INEOS and Sasol in proportion to their respective ownership positions. “This project will expand Sasol’s presence in the global chemical market and complement our North American growth strategy,” said Fleetwood Grobler, Sasol group executive for global chemicals. “Its location offers several benefits, including access to US Gulf Coast infrastructure and proximity to our proposed ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Southwest Louisiana.” Access to vast new supplies of American natural gas from shale deposits is one of the most exciting domestic energy developments in decades, particularly for the petrochemical industry. The International Energy Agency believes the US will be self-sufficient in natural gas production by 2015 and oil production by 2035. And in May this year Energy in Depth said CO2 emissions in the United States were now at their lowest level for 20 years.

    4 minutes read Issue 7
  • No Longer A Pipe Dream

    Britain’s reliance on foreign imports of gas and coal hit an all-time high last year. And that dependency is set to increase. By 2020, Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, believes the UK will be importing 70% of the gas it needs. For energy-hungry companies like INEOS, with manufacturing plants in the UK, that’s a major concern and one it can no longer ignore. INEOS is planning to invest millions in creating opportunities for more underground gas storage facilities in the UK. The decision – made by INEOS earlier this year – comes at a time of growing concern over spiralling energy costs in the UK, the security of Britain’s energy supplies and the nation’s increasing reliance on foreign imports. Gas stored in the cavities at the Holford Brinefield in Cheshire will play a part in keeping the lights on in the UK and ultimately keep industrial consumers such as INEOS in business. The benefits for INEOS, though, will actually be twofold. “Even without gas storage, cavities would still be formed as they provide the brine that INEOS needs at its two sites in Runcorn,” said Richard Stevenson, Project Manager at INEOS Enterprises. “The proposed development would simply make use of the salt cavities once all the brine has been extracted.” Controlled solution mining has taken place in the Holford Brinefield since the 1920s. Since that time, over 200 cavities have been safely mined by INEOS and its predecessors. INEOS ChlorVinyls uses the concentrated salt solution to produce chlorine, which keeps most of the UK’s drinking water safe. INEOS Enterprises’ Salt Business also uses it to produce table salt, water softeners and de-icing salt. If planning permission is granted, this would be the third gas storage project at the Holford Brinefield and would create an additional 19 gas storage cavities. Today, a significant number of cavities are in use for the production of brine, eleven are operational for gas storage with a further eighteen being developed for gas storage. The importance of gas storage in the UK should not be underestimated. Recently the Energy and Climate Change Committee called on the British Government to double the UK’s current gas storage by 2020. As such, the proposed development at Holford has been classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, which means – unlike most planning applications – it will not be decided by the local authority. Instead it requires a Development Consent Order from Ed Davey, the current Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. INEOS and Keuper Gas Storage Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of INEOS Enterprises Group Limited, are expected to apply for that order early next year. It is hoped Mr Davey will make a decision in 2016 so that construction can start the following year. INEOS would then expect to start storing natural gas in the specially-designed underground caverns from 2020. “This is an important proposal for the UK’s energy security and would provide vital investment and jobs for Cheshire,” said Greg Stewart, INEOS Enterprises’ Operations Director. “It is also a significant investment, which can be delivered without subsidies from the Government.” In March this year Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, warned that the UK would be importing up to 70% of its gas by 2020. Chief executive Sam Laidlaw said Britain’s energy security supply risked becoming the ‘forgotten priority’ of European energy policy. “In the UK an estimated 3.7 Gigawatts of coal-fired generating capacity will be shut down by the end of 2015 as a result of European directives to curb emissions,” he said. “The country’s reserve capacity is forecast to shrink to 4%, increasing the risk of power cuts. Yet no new capacity is being built. The UK’s production of gas is falling rapidly. North Sea oil and gas output has fallen by 38% over the past three years. By 2020 we will be reliant on imports to meet 70% of the country’s gas needs. So when it comes to security of supply, there is a pressing need for solutions.” For a company like INEOS, which uses as much energy as the city of Liverpool to power its plants in Runcorn, it’s not a forgotten matter. It’s very much a priority. The UK became a net importer of energy in 2004. In 2010 it was importing 28% of its supply. Last year it rose to 47% with exports at their lowest level since 1980. Successful development of this project, along with the previous two INEOS supported gas projects in Cheshire, would have a combined ability to deliver up to 40% of the UK’s daily gas storage capability. “If there were a major supply disruption to the UK, the gas stored on the INEOS Enterprises Brinefield, including this project, could help to keep the lights on in the UK for nearly two weeks,” said Richard. Gas from the National Transmission System would be stored in the cavities when demand is low, usually during the warmer, summer months. When the demand increases, it will be fed back into the UK’s National Transmission System. Cheshire is one of the few places in the UK where gas can be safely stored underground due to the geology. The salt stratum is impermeable which means gas cannot pass through it. For more details log on to

    4 minutes read Issue 7
  • Why Does It Matter

    The discovery of the Higgs boson particle, which gives substance to everything in the universe, turned physicists into rock stars for a day. It had been spectacularly difficult to find but a generation of physicists were so convinced that it was out there – somewhere – that they persuaded 40 countries from around the world to create the most complex machine ever built to test the theory. But what about the rest of us? Were we actually bothered? Should we care? And why does this discovery matter? INCH went to CERN, close to the INEOS headquarters and listened to some of the scientists involved. It was one of the biggest scientific discoveries of all time. Many physicists, whose careers had been dominated by the search for the elusive Higgs boson, thought they might never live to see it. But the average man, woman and child in the street are still probably wondering what the discovery of the Higgs boson particle has got to do with them, and whether it was worth the £6 billion spent trying to find it, especially in the midst of a global recession. It’s a question that Ainissa Ramirez, a former associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at America’s Yale University, understands. “This discovery is up there with Copernicus,” she said. “But people don’t want to know the details of the Higgs. Not yet. They want to know why it is important and how this changes human history.” One thing is certain. It will shape our world. We just don’t know quite how yet. “I cannot promise that the discovery of the Higgs particle will lead to a new type of non-stick pan, or any other concrete change to daily activities,” said Professor Dave Charlton, scientific leader of the ATLAS experiment at CERN which discovered the particle. “It probably won’t. But I hope the person in the street shares the common goal of many people to understand more about the way things work. Pushing the boundaries towards the deep building blocks of the universe is surely a cultural as well as a scientific imperative.” Professor Charlton, who is also a professor of particle physics at the University of Birmingham in the UK, said it was difficult to compare the Higgs discovery with previous historical discoveries, like radioactivity or the structure of DNA. “It’s just too early,” he said. “It can take decades or longer to figure out how such new physics will work through into new technologies. We don’t know what the consequences will be in terms of the next scientific steps. But we do know we have just taken a very big step in establishing how particles can have mass.” To discover the Higgs boson – the particle that gives mass to everything we see and arguably the most coveted prize in physics – scientists needed to recreate conditions less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. And to do this, they needed to build the most complex machine that had ever been built. For 15 years more than 10,000 scientists from 40 countries invested their time and expertise in creating an atom-smasher in a near circular 27km-long tunnel 100 metres (325ft) underground near Geneva, Switzerland. Professor Sir Jim Virdee, from London’s Imperial College, said some of the technology did not even exist when they started designing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which would accelerate sub-atomic particles to almost the speed of light and then smash them together. But the discovery of the Higgs boson in July 2012 – and confirmed in March this year – finally showed the world what theoretical physicists Peter Higgs, Robert Brout and François Englert had predicted almost 50 years earlier. Looking into the future, it may solve fundamental questions about the origin of the universe, and, perhaps more importantly, its fate. “We have answered one deep and long-standing puzzle,” said Professor Charlton. “But the discovery has also posed more questions than it has answered. Some of these questions are not new but they are crystallised into real problems by the discovery. They are no longer hypothetical problems.” Ms Ramirez said when the electron was discovered in 1897, its uses were not obvious. “What is obvious today is that we can’t live without electrons, since they run through all our electronics,” she said. CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, was founded in 1954. Its mission was – and still is – to advance the frontiers of technology, find answers to questions about the universe, bring together nations through science and train the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. “Understanding the world around us has been a basic human interest from time immemorial,” said Professor Charlton. “People work together at CERN irrespective of nationality, gender, religion or other distinctions, because we all want answers to these basic questions.” Over the years thousands of scientists and physicists have passed through the doors. When the LHC was switched on in September 2008 to global fanfare, scientists were venturing into the unknown. The machine in their midst was capable of producing enough data to fill 100,000 CDs every second. The challenge would be to find a way to sift through that data to find the only standard model particle that had never been seen. Every second there were about 800 million head-on collisions at almost the speed of light. If scientists had recorded all the data, it would have been like trying to make 50 billion telephone calls all at the same time or listen to songs for 600 years. “Just a fraction of those collisions were of interest so we had to cut it down very quickly to the most interesting events,” said Professor Charlton. Initially there were teething problems. Thirty six hours after the LHC had been switched on, it had to be shut down again due to a faulty electrical wire between two magnets which had been melted by the high current passing through it. The LHC was finally restarted in November 2009 after repairs and the installation of a new safety system. Life without the Higgs Boson would not be life as we know it. Particles would have continued to fly through the universe, never clumping together to form anything. “It is astounding that we understand only a small fraction of the stuff in the universe,” said Professor Charlton. “The next data we take at the LHC could give us deep insights into the dark universe (dark matter) that we do not understand.” The LHC was shut down in February last year for a massive upgrade. When it restarts in January physicists can only imagine what they might find. All they know is this is just the beginning. “There are still many mysteries there,” said Professor Charlton. “We do know now, though, that empty space is not as we had thought. Empty space contains something, an invisible “Higgs field”, which all particles interact with. The discovery of the Higgs boson is a big step forward in our understanding of the deepest structure of nature.” As a professor of particle physics, probing deep into the basic structure of matter and forces, he believes nothing is impossible. “All scientific problems can be attacked,” he said. “Sometimes they may take years or decades to solve, but it should be possible to find answers to how things work. Understanding each new puzzle just takes time and energy and people and money.” Meanwhile, as a major, international laboratory, CERN has now set its sights on something even bigger. It wants to build a new underground machine that would be four times the size of the LHC. The 100km tunnel, which would encircle all of Geneva, would have unparalleled energy levels.

    6 minutes read Issue 7
  • CERN Finds Its Place In History

    Key technologies developed at CERN over the past 60 years have been finding their way into the outside world – and benefiting society. So far, The European Organisation for Nuclear Research can be thanked for giving the world more efficient solar panels, the World Wide Web, touch screen technology and medical imaging to name but a few. “The common drive for knowledge pushes us continuously to look for, and often develop, innovative technologies which are useful to us, as well as to others,” said Professor Dave Charlton. You would assume CERN has always benefited financially through patenting such inventions. But it hasn’t - due to the highly collaborative way it works. As one of Europe’s first joint ventures, its member states pump in millions of euros into the organisation every year to help develop new technologies which means they don’t want to then have to pay to use the inventions in their own countries. In the past CERN simply published details of its inventions in the same way it published its scientific discoveries. In other words, they were freely available. In 2010, though, CERN signed an agreement with the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to ensure it benefited from its engineers’ innovations. “Basic science is the driving force for innovation,” said CERN director General Rolf Heuer. “It is therefore vital for organisations like CERN to ensure that their knowledge and technologies find fertile ground for development. The agreement with WIPO will stimulate both organisations to explore joint ventures that may also involve other international organisations.” For CERN has many success stories of which it is proud. Here are just some of them. WWW Early research at CERN led to the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee, one of its computer scientists, wrote and circulated a hypertext project in 1989 so that staff could access reports, notes and databases. A subsequent report was published in 1993. CERN recently celebrated 20 years of putting World Wide Web software in the public domain by restoring the first website to its original web address – TOUCH SCREEN TECHNOLOGY Apple has long been credited with inventing touchscreen technology with the iPhone but the company simply innovated it. Engineers Bent Stumpe and Frank Beck actually developed the world’s transparent touch screen in the early 1970s which reacted to certain objects like a stylus. It was manufactured by CERN and put to use in 1973. SOLAR PANELS Vacuum technology developed at CERN for particle accelerators is now being used to make a new generation of solar panels with outstanding insulation. Crisoforo Benvenuti, who invented them, said that temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius had been recorded inside the panels even when they were covered in snow. EMAIL ENCRYPTION In May this year three young entrepreneurs, inspired by their time at CERN, launched ProtonMail, a secure email service with a sophisticated encryption system to deter would-be spies. The idea for the company was born in a CERN cafeteria where physicists and engineers regularly meet and share their ideas over coffee. POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY (PET) SCANS CERN developed bismuth germanate and transparent lead tungstate crystals for its detectors. Today both types of crystals are used in PET scans which help to diagnose cancer. The PET scan produces detailed three-dimensional images of the inside of the body which can show how far a cancer has spread or how well it is responding to treatment. And accelerator technology, of which CERN is a lead laboratory, is now being used increasingly for medical purposes such as cancer treatment via hadron therapy, which allows to deliver a very localised dose of radiation to a tumour site more precisely than before.

    4 minutes read Issue 7
  • Out Of Harm’s Way

    We live in a world where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. But who is driving it? The military or the commercial world? The world owes the existence of some of the most exciting technological developments in history to the military. Necessity was certainly the mother of invention during the 20th century. War demanded the best, focused the mind, pushed the frontiers of what was possible and inspired people to think faster and smarter than the enemy. Computers, thermal imaging, radar, GPS, jet engines, carbon fibre and drones were all developed for the military long before they found a place in everyday civilian life. But the dynamic has changed somewhat. “In the past defence and aerospace were the big drivers of innovation,” said Neil Stansfield, Head of Knowledge, Innovation and Futures Enterprise at the UK Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. “However today, innovation comes from many more sectors and has commercial drivers.” That said, the military’s need for innovation should never be underestimated as access to new technology provides competitive advantage that can quite literally be the difference between life or death. “In some niche areas, the military will always drive innovation and be an early adopter,” said Neil. Only two months ago the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency unveiled its latest invention – hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles that let humans scale vertical glass walls like Spiderman. Using the new technology, a man weighing 218lb – and carrying a 50lb load – climbed a 25ft vertical glass wall without ropes or hooks. Dubbed the Z-Man project, scientists said they had looked to nature – the gecko – for inspiration to help soldiers gain the high ground in built-up warzones without the need for ropes and ladders. “The gecko is one of the champion climbers in the animal kingdom, so it was natural for us to look to it for inspiration in overcoming some of the manoeuvre challenges that US forces face in urban environments,” said Dr Matt Goodman, the DARPA programme manager for Z-Man. Not only that, but the man-made, reversible adhesives that DARPA created using nanotechnology could one day find their way into everyday life. Whatever part the military finally does play in the future should never detract from the importance of its role in the past. The global positioning system, commonly known as GPS, was invented by the US Air Force in the mid-seventies to guide missiles. Today most of us, including aircraft pilots, sailors and fishermen, use the space-age technology to avoid getting lost. Many mobile phones and modern cars are also equipped with satellite navigation systems which let people know exactly where they are in the world at any time. “All smartphones now come with maps and location services as standard,” said Ben Taylor, Senior Corporate Communications Manager at Vodafone UK. “And Ofcom believes that more than half of all adults in the UK now own a smartphone.” The very first thermal imaging camera was developed for the military in Sweden in 1958 by AGA. The camera’s ability to produce a crisp image in total darkness and through smoke meant it became a valuable tool in combat zones. Today thermal imaging cameras help police to track down suspects in the dark, sailors to navigate at night, fire crews to search smoke-filled buildings for survivors, and rescue teams to locate earthquake victims trapped under tons of rubble. FLIR Systems, the world leader for thermal imaging cameras, said they were also often used to detect gas leaks and scan buildings for signs of poor insulation and damp. The world’s first electronic digital computer was designed by engineers for the US military during the Second World War to help them calculate artillery firing ranges. When ENIAC, as it was known, was finally shown to the public on February 15, 1946, in Philadelphia at Penn’s Moore Building, the press hailed it as a ‘giant brain’. It had cost almost $500,000 but this revolutionary device – as we all now know – changed the world forever. “Without ENIAC, we would not have Google, we would not have Microsoft or many of the things that are driving today’s economy,” said Bill Green, a former Democratic Councilman-at-Large on the City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another technology that originated in the military is radar, which was developed by several nations before and during the Second World War, and was heavily deployed across the UK as part of an early warning system to detect incoming enemy aircraft. Today radar is used to forecast the weather, help aircraft fly and land safely and enable the police to catch speeding drivers. The British engineer, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, who contributed significantly to the development of radar, was reportedly pulled over for speeding in Canada in the 1950s by a policeman armed with a radar gun. As the officer spoke to him, he is believed to have replied: ‘Had I known what you were going to do with it, I would never have invented it.’ Radar technology also led to the first microwave oven. During an experiment with magnetrons in his Raytheon lab in Massachusetts, American scientist Percy Spencer discovered that the radar transmitters had melted a chocolate bar in his pocket. Amazed, he sent his assistant for a bag of popcorn, spread the corn over the table near the magnetrons and then waited. Less than a minute later, the kernels began exploding. Today drones, first developed as target practice for the military in the 1930s and now heavily used for surveillance and bombing missions, are gaining ground in the commercial world. Civilian air space is expected to be opened up to all kinds of drones in the US by 2015 and in Europe by 2016. And The Federal Aviation Administration in the US estimates that 30,000 civil and commercial unmanned aircraft could be in the skies by 2030. “I certainly saw how the military technology could be used in a commercial environment when I was in the RAF,” said Mark Sickling, who flew drones over Afghanistan and Iraq on both reconnaissance and armed missions from a control base in Las Vegas. He is now chief pilot at Cyberhawk, which uses remotely-operated aerial vehicles to inspect everything from live flare tips at INEOS and Petroineos sites, to wind turbines and off-shore oil and gas installations. Mark said a lot of commercial technology was now being leveraged by the military because of shrinking military budgets. One commercial enterprise, which is carrying out its own extensive research into the use of unmanned drones, is Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. Last year it announced that it was testing ‘Octocopters’ to deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order. “I know this looks like science fiction, but it’s not,” said chief executive Jeff Bezos. “I don’t want people to think this is just around the corner. It is years of additional work. But it will work. It will happen. And it’s going to be a lot of fun.” Craig Roberts, CEO at Cyberhawk, isn’t quite as optimistic as Jeff at Amazon. “It is a lovely idea,” he said. “But it is science fiction at the moment because it could not be done safely within the current CAA restrictions on flying.” In the UK, for example, unmanned aircraft cannot fly higher than 150 metres or within 50 metres of a built-up area or road and pilots must be able to see the aircraft at all times. “Amazon’s idea is a long, long way off,” said Craig.

    7 minutes read Issue 7
  • Rise Of The Drones

    Successful innovation starts when someone finds a gap in the market. Malcolm Connolly, a chemical engineering graduate, found his – dangling off the end of a rope. For 10 years he had been ‘working at height’, inspecting North Sea oil and gas installations, often hundreds of feet in the air and in challenging and dangerous conditions. “He thought there must be an easier way to do this,” said Craig Roberts, who is now CEO of the company that Malcolm founded. There was. Malcolm and his team at Cyberhawk guided the development of a fleet of remote-controlled aerial vehicles that could fly in 28mph winds, operate in high ambient temperatures and inspect flares while live and, it turned out, do a week’s work in an afternoon. One such job saved an off-shore gas drilling and production platform in South East Asia more than $2 million and eliminated the need for their staff to work at height, dramatically improving safety. “In the past they would have had to shut down the plant for seven days to allow time for a rope access crew to access and inspect the flare,” said Craig. Today Cyberhawk, which uses remotely-operated aerial vehicles to inspect everything from live flare tips to chimney stacks, ducting and pipe racks to the underdeck of off-shore oil and gas installations, has an impressive list of clients including Shell, BP, Chevron, Exxonmobil, Total and INEOS and has worked for many of the world’s largest energy companies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. While the public debate rages on over the ethics of using drones for bombing missions, Cyberhawk is proud of the pioneering work it is doing to lift people out of danger. Video In 2010 when Cyberhawk agreed to inspect an on-shore flare for INEOS Grangemouth, it was venturing into the unknown. No one had attempted to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle within a few metres of a flare tip. After several on-shore flare inspections, Cyberhawk conducted what it understands to be the world’s first off-shore inspection in the North Sea in 2011 for ConocoPhillips. And in 2012 it became the first company to inspect an off-shore wind turbine off the UK coast. “Leading the field, though, has meant we have had to establish our own training and R&D centre,” said Craig. “We believe if you want to grow your company in a dynamic manner, you need to invest in research and development.” INEOS initially hired Cyberhawk to inspect its live flare stacks and chimneys at its Grangemouth plant in Scotland, UK. “In the past INEOS would have had to shut down the flare, with the associated loss in production, perhaps erect scaffolding around the flare tip and then send a technician to the top of the stack, ” said Craig. “Now production can now continue as normal while we inspect the flare and there’s no need for people to work at height or in dangerous areas.” High definition video, photographic and thermal images – captured by the remotely-operated aerial vehicles – allow anomalies to be identified and thermal images help to identify potential problems such as “burn back” where the gases are igniting within the body of the flare. “We can see what a person would see inspecting a shut-down flare but, because we inspect the flares while they are live, we can also obtain thermal images,” he said. “We also inspect all the flare whereas a person would only note the points of interest.” Once the job is done, the results are discussed on-site immediately. Each aerial vehicle is battery-powered, has eight propellers, and may be fitted with a still camera, HD video recorder, gas sensor and a thermal imaging camera. But even with all that kit on board, it still weighs less 2kg. “To illustrate how light and small our aerial vehicles are, we often compare it to a large seagull – at least when we’re speaking to clients who operate in the North Sea,” said Craig. Accidents have been known to happen. But to others. In April this year a UK shop owner became the first person successfully prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority for dangerously flying a small unmanned surveillance aircraft within 50 metres of the Jubilee Bridge on the Walney Channel in Cumbria. “It can be a problem because it is easy to buy a hobby kit and fly in a public area without an understanding of how to safely operate the remotely-operated aerial vehicle,” said Craig. “What Cyberhawk does is a million miles away from that.” Cyberhawk’s ‘pilots’ are trained to the highest possible standard – and trained to expect the unexpected. To qualify as an off-shore pilot, Cyberhawk staff must first pass four levels of internal training and certification over-and-above the basic qualification supported by the Civil Aviation Authority. And its services are proving invaluable. “Because we are able to monitor a problem very easily, companies can, despite having an issue, often avoid unplanned shutdowns and stick with their planned shutdown programme,” said Craig. Inspecting live flare tips, though, is only part of Cyberhawk’s success story. It has also used its remotely-piloted aerial vehicles to record the construction progress of a whisky bottling plant, survey a restored opencast mine, inspect meteorological masts at sea and monitor a herd of seals without disturbing their natural environment. INEOS has also used Cyberhawk to film sites for use in short films to help inform its communities.

    7 minutes read Issue 7
  • Getting The Chemistry Right

    Without scientists pushing boundaries, the world would be a very different place. Many of the things we take for granted just would not exist. So how do you convince young people to pursue a career in science and chemistry? It’s a problem for many countries. But planet earth needs scientists if it is to tackle global poverty and global climate change. There’s no doubting that Albert Einstein was a genius. The German-born American physicist may not have learned to swim, but he turned the world upside down with his theory of relativity. Say ‘Einstein’ to the man in the street, though, and he sees ‘an old man, with piercing eyes, wild grey hair in a crumpled laboratory coat’. And that is part of science’s problem. “To many people, science looks like an old man’s game, but it isn’t,” Professor Brian Cox said during a recent interview with a British national newspaper. “Most of the science in the UK is done by people in their 20s. Even Einstein did all his world-changing work when he was a young, good-looking man who drank and misbehaved a bit. So it’s possible to do both.” Professor Cox, a former pop star who had a hit in the 1990s with D:Ream and Things Can Only Get Better, is passionate about opening up science to the masses in the UK. Last year he presented five BBC programmes, entitled Wonders of Life, in which he revealed how a few fundamental laws of science gave birth to life. Beth Regan, a publicist at BBC Factual in the UK, said the series attracted an average of almost three million viewers. “Broadcasters have a big responsibility to rebuild the image of science,” Professor Cox told Daily Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon. “They need to show that it is not necessarily a game just for super genius people either.” Recent research by King’s College London found that many British children aged 10 to 14 would rather be hairdressers or beauticians than scientists. Although they agreed science was interesting and felt that scientists made a difference in the world, they saw it as a career for ‘highly-talented geeks’ only. “Liking science clearly is not enough,” said Professor Louise Archer, director of the ASPIRES study which presented the findings of the five-year UK Government Department of Education & Professional Studies report. But she felt the negative views of school science and scientists were not the problem. The issue, she said, was a lack of awareness of where science could lead. “Most science qualifications were seen to lead only to jobs as a scientist, a science teacher or a doctor,” she said. Many governments and organisations throughout the world are concerned that not enough young people are opting to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after the age of 16. It has become an international priority issue for governments and industry with widespread concern about the knock-on effects on a country’s ability to compete and innovate in a global economy. “National governments are striving to improve the competitiveness of their countries and, with few exceptions, are emphasising the key role STEM industries have in helping them to achieve their goals,” said Derek Bell, Professor of Education, College of Teachers. Professor Bell was speaking at a global conference of science academies. In all 100-plus delegates from 58 countries came to hear what could be done to improve science education. That was in 2012. Five years earlier The European Commission had warned that there had been an ‘alarming decline’ in young people’s interest in science and mathematics in Europe. It said despite efforts to reverse the trend, any signs of improvement had been modest, and feared Europe’s long-term ability to innovate and remain competitive would be damaged unless more effective action were taken. One of its recommendations was to radically change the way science was taught in primary and secondary schools to a more inquiry-based style. Since then more and more countries have adopted inquiry-based science education, a method of teaching which encourages pupils to pose the questions. In Germany, where inquiry-based science education is now part of the curriculum in many schools, INEOS in Köln is very much in the driving seat. “Since 2008 we have formed strong, well-established, long-term partnerships with 23 primary and eight secondary schools which have adopted the TuWaS! programme,” said Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, communications manager at INEOS in Köln. “We understand the need to bring relevance to the school curriculum with visits to our sites and employees in the classroom. These partnerships help us as a company, as an industry and also as a developed industrial country to attract young people – especially girls – who are curious, enthusiastic and motivated to make the world a better place through science.” So far, four German states have adopted the TuWaS! programme for children aged 6 to 12. The programme was founded by Freie Universität Berlin Professor Dr Petra Skiebe-Corrette after she had seen a similar model working wonders in Sweden. Teachers attend a one-day seminar during which they are taught the natural science and technical experiments first. They then return to the classroom, armed with a school year’s worth of experiments and the confidence to teach them. INEOS in Köln is the biggest financial supporter in the Rhineland sponsoring almost half of the 70 schools which have adopted the TuWaS! programme. INEOS employees act as ambassadors, and have so far reached more than 6,000 children. “The TuWaS! programme forces children to ask questions rather than receive ready-made answers,” said Andreas Niessen, dean of the Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium in Pulheim. At a global academies conference in Finland in 2012, Anne-Gret was invited to speak about how science education and industry could successfully work together. “It was the first time that someone from industry had actually been invited to speak at their conference,” she said. Inquiry-based science education owes its existence to America, where it originated, but the US is also facing an uphill battle in selling science to the masses. In June this year Lisa Coico, President of the City College of New York, said that she was concerned about the dearth of American high school students wanting to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “There is much more to the STEM disciplines than memorisation of formulas and mind-numbing repetitive calculations,” she said. “These fields are on the front line of addressing the most significant challenges facing society, from climate change to environmental health and diseases to next-generation computing and communication technology.” To try to address the decline, the city college has adopted a holistic approach to learning created by the Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center. “When we expose students early on to what STEM professionals do, the more likely they will be interested in becoming scientists, engineers, physicians, and more,” she said. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the year 2018 there will be 1.2 million new job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics but fears there will be a significant shortage of qualified college graduates to fill those jobs. Dennis Seith, CEO of INEOS O&P USA, is a member of the Texas A&M University Engineering Council, which is working with the dean of engineering to define industry’s needs and work on teaching methods. The goal is to enrol 25,000 engineering students by 2025 – twice the current number of students signing up. INEOS O&P USA has also set up an initiative to increase INEOS’ access to talent by cultivating relationships with local regional technical schools and training centres and is already helping to develop skills internally by taking on apprentices. It all helps. As a company which needs a continuous supply of highly-skilled, highly disciplined employees, INEOS cannot afford to ignore the problem. Nor is it. At INEOS’ Grangemouth site in Scotland in the UK, INEOS organises a major, two-week Science Engineering and Technology Fair every year, where 2,000 local children are able to gain hands-on experience of science and engineering. “It’s the best way to get young people excited about engineering and manufacturing and dispel any preconceptions that they have about science being a ‘boring’ career,” said Tom Crotty, Corporate Affairs Director. In addition, every year the Royal Society of Chemistry organises the UK Chemistry Olympiad for pupils in the UK, and INEOS has been sponsoring the competition since 2007 to help inspire the next generation to take up science as a career. “INEOS’ support has enabled us to significantly widen participation in the competition,” said Jim Iley, Director of Science and Education at the Royal Society of Chemistry. Others are also driving home the message that science is cool. Elise Andrew launched website when she was in her final year of her biology degree at Sheffield University in the UK in March 2012 and in October last year told The Guardian newspaper: “I love that science can never be finished. In science every question answered leads to two more.” Someone who wouldn’t argue with that is Professor Dave Charlton at CERN near Geneva in Switzerland. He said he hoped the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson – the so-called ‘God particle’ – would help to inspire a new generation of physicists and scientists. “At CERN we are always keen to explain our science, and how we do it, to non-experts because an understanding of the methods and concepts of science lies at the basis of our society,” he said. Crisis? What crisis? asks China Science does not have an image problem in China which is now the second biggest economy in the world. A recent report by America’s National Science Board found that over the past 20 years, China had been devoting more and more money to science and technology. In 2011 China became the largest Patent office in the world with 526,000 applications being filed, compared to the USA which in the same year filed some 503,000 applications. And the gap continues to widen. Suwatchai Songwanich, CEO Bangkok Bank, said in a recent article for The Nation Multimedia Group that China’s goal was to be a leader in science education and that China viewed science and technology as critically important to its economic success. “The goal is to transform China from an industrial society into an innovative society,” he wrote. “And one way the government plans to achieve this is to greatly increase the level of investment in research and development, with a target of R&D contributing 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2020.”

    9 minutes read Issue 7
  • INEOS Journeys Into The World Of The Electric Car

    Electric cars are nothing new. Thomas Parker, an Englishman, actually came up with one that ran on rechargeable batteries in 1884. But dwindling resources of fossil fuels and concerns about CO2 emissions are now forcing us as a society to consider them as a serious alternative. Unsurprisingly INEOS has been quick to explore whether to switch to electric cars at its sites around the world. Video Electric cars on their own won’t save the planet. No one disputes that. But it’s perhaps a start. A move in the right direction, at least, towards lowering carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable world for future generations. The difficulty, though, is how do you convince people to change their way of life today without paying more? INEOS’ own journey into the world of the electric car has already begun. At its Antwerp site in Belgium, Köln in Germany and Lavéra in France. Antwerp is currently deciding which road to travel after trialling an e-car on the site, Köln is currently running trials, but at Lavéra, site policy is now to use an electric car for on-site journeys wherever possible. In France companies in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region, which employ more than 250 people, must pledge to help reduce air pollution caused by their own staff. And last year Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur made it mandatory for 30% of a company’s car fleet to be electric or at least cars with low carbon emissions. “There were no sanctions at that time so not everyone abided by these rules,” said Bernard de Chanville, general services manager who also led the project. “But INEOS was – and is – considered as exemplary in this region by its community and local authorities.” Staff at Lavéra actually began testing a range of different e-cars five years ago. “I don’t remember exactly how many we have tested but it is a lot,” said Bernard. “Every time a new model came on the market, we tried it out.” Overall the staff liked the Renault Kangoo ZE van, which has been France’s best-selling all-electric vehicle since 2010. “It is the first really industrial model,” said Bernard. Despite the limited mileage before the battery needs recharging, staff said the van felt safe and was a pleasure to drive. INEOS currently operates nine vehicles for use on the Lavéra site near Marseilles. “Every time a car lease expires, we now look at whether it is possible to choose an e-car,” said Bernard. “Some of our vehicles, though, are also used off-site so the limited battery range of an e-car then becomes an issue.” Despite the drawbacks, the trials at its sites both fit very well with INEOS’ ethos as a company which prides itself on seeking out – where possible – safe, sustainable solutions to today’s challenges. INEOS’ purchasing directors are now investigating what would be needed to equip all its European and US sites with electric cars. “Electric cars are interesting for our site as we don’t need wide ranges, we have low speed limits on site so a reduced speed is a benefit, not a penalty,” said Bernard. If the price – and conditions – are right, INEOS could also become one of the first chemical companies to use energy generated by its own Combined Heat and Power processes to move people and goods around on site. “It is certainly a very innovative idea that would have a positive impact to reduce emissions from on-site vehicles and change attitudes,” said Peggy Gerits, Planning and Logistics Manager at INEOS Oxide in Antwerp, where staff have just finished a lengthy evaluation into the use of e-cars on their site. It would also be good for business for the chemical industry which is involved in the production of many of the components that are used in today’s e-cars, such as polypropylene for bumpers and butadiene for ‘green’, fuel-efficient tyres. The cost, though, is one of the main reasons given by the public for not making the switch to electricity. A two-seater Renault Twizy with a maximum speed of 50mph (80kph) costs about £7,000 (€9,000, $11,000). The short distances that can be travelled before the battery needs recharging is another perceived problem. After about 60 miles (100 km), it will need charging again. But Renault says that by 2020, a subcompact electric car will be cheaper to buy, it will go much further – possibly 250 miles (402 km) before it needs recharging – and be quicker to recharge. Antwerp trials e-car By Jenny Franken (Intern) Staff at INEOS’ site in Antwerp, Belgium started on an interesting journey when they began testing an electric car last year. Back in 2003 Essent build a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant at INEOS Oxide’s site in Antwerp, with surplus power to be fed into the Belgian electricity grid. More recently both companies have sought additional cooperation for using the electricity produced by the cogen unit onsite, to extend the environmental benefits beyond production units on site. Discussions with Essent led to a partnership with 4iS a consulting firm that focuses on electromobility and a trial of electric cars agreed. For two months they were encouraged to use the car to transport equipment and pipes on short journeys around the site. “The car was used for basically every journey that could not be done by bicycle,” said Peggy Gerits, Planning and Logistics Manager at INEOS NV. The trial was a major team effort, involving INEOS, Essent, 4iS, which supports businesses that may want to switch to electric cars, Renault, which offered use of a test car, and Blue Corner, which provided the charging station. Their mission was to raise awareness of what it’s like to drive an electric car and gather feedback. And the feedback was largely positive. Staff said the car was safe, quiet and comfortable, and perfect for the short journeys around the site. Some, though, were concerned that the car posed a potential safety hazard because it was so quiet. They feared people might not hear it approaching or reversing. The other downside was remembering to charge the car’s battery, which could take up to an hour. “Driving an e-car is a different experience,” said Peggy. “It is more relaxed.” The electric car, tested by INEOS staff, had a top speed of 81mph (130kph). “That wasn’t an issue for us because there are strict speed restrictions on the site anyway,” said Peggy. Overall, though, the staff liked it. Cost is the main issue restricting public demand for this new technology. The high cost of e-cars today and the short distances that can be travelled of “just” 140 km-200 km means they are as yet not widely popular. But things are changing rapidly Renault says that by 2020, the range of a compact electric vehicle could be as much as 402 km (250 miles), the charging time will be significantly shorter and the overall cost to produce will be lower. Electric cars on INEOS sites would typically travel short distances. They would be parked on site out of hours, when they can be recharged, so they are a very helpful addition to the sites operation. To make these cars more popular and easier to handle the market has to develop. Future challenges will include reliability and durability of batteries and cost reduction. Antwerp now plans to review their internal car fleet to investigate the possibility of switching to e-cars. If it makes financial sense, INEOS may go down that road. What staff liked 100% emission free Safe Quiet to drive What staff disliked The need to recharge after short distances Time-consuming to recharge Expensive to buy

    15 minutes read Issue 7
  • Out Of This World

    This summer millions of people around the globe tuned in to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But believe it or not, some would say that there was more to life than football as INCH discovered when it went in search of some of life’s more unusual, if extreme, sports and quirky events. Marathon des SablesYou would think Mauro Prosperi’s incredible story of survival would be enough to deter anyone from signing up for the Marathon des Sables, a 158-mile (254km) race across the Sahara desert. But people are queuing up to fork out at least 2,700 Euros to take part. The race, dubbed the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, is the equivalent of running six marathons in temperatures of up to 120°F (49°C). Running in the sand dunes can cause your feet to swell. After three days your feet can feel like concrete slabs. Everyone must carry everything he/she needs for the six-day race except for water. The organisers kindly provide that. All 14 gallons a day of it for each competitor. Mauro, though, is unlikely to ever want to do it again. Twenty years ago the Italian policeman got lost during a sandstorm, ran out of food and water after 36 hours and spent nine days alone in the desert before he was found 186 miles (299km) off course by a nomadic family. He had survived by drinking his own urine and eating bats and snakes. La TomatinaSpain’s Tomatina is the food fight to end all food fights. There are no winners or losers; just a sea of red faces once the battle ends. In the past up to 50,000 people have thronged the streets of Bunol, near Valencia, to pelt each other with 140 tons of overripe, squashed tomatoes. Today organisers sell tickets to just 20,000. Shopkeepers use huge plastic covers to protect their shop fronts throughout the hour-long street battle. A cannon signals the start of the fight and another marks the end. Once it’s over, the town’s streets and walls are hosed down while everyone else takes a shower. The annual festival is believed to have been inspired by a group of teenagers who grabbed tomatoes from a vegetable stall and began to throw them at one another during a parade through Bunol in August 1945. The North Pole Marathon As marathons go, The North Pole Marathon is arguably the coolest. This year armed guards patrolled the marathon route as the 48 athletes from 16 countries braved the threat of hungry polar bears, temperatures of -47C and drifting ice floes to complete the 26.2-mile route. There are always so few competitors that they all merit a mention on the organisers’ official website. Competitor Robert Plijnaar from Holland wore three pairs of socks and three layers of clothing to keep warm. “I started off also wearing a mask and a pair of ski glasses but after 100 metres it was just like looking through an aquarium, so I had to take them off. Unfortunately, it meant I got frostbite around my eyes and nose,” he said. World Tuna TossingIt’s a hammer throwing competition with a twist. Instead of a heavy ball, contestants whirl a frozen tuna around their heads with a rope and then fling it as far as they can. Whoever throws the 17lb blue fin tuna the furthest during the Tunarama Festival at Port Lincoln, in South Australia, is crowned world champion. The Jungle MarathonIf you are frightened of piranhas, it’s probably best to avoid The Jungle Marathon. Organisers say only the brave register for this event, which is deemed to be one of the toughest, wettest and hottest ultra-marathons in the world. And you can see why. Apart from the sweltering temperatures, competitors have to wade through swamps where anacondas lurk, scale steep, slippery muddy slopes, tackle dense undergrowth, cross piranha-infested rivers and spend more than one night in the depths of the Amazon jungle with jaguars and howling monkeys for company. All runners must carry a knife, a copy of their medical insurance and enough food for the seven-day, 158-mile (254km) race to the finish. If you are unlucky enough to need an IV drip, you’ll also find two hours added to your finishing time. Cheese RollingAn American Army veteran last year travelled more than 4,000 miles from his home in Colorado Springs to chase a 3kg large wheel of cheese down a steep hill in Gloucestershire in the UK. Thankfully the trip paid off; he won one of the races and some Double Gloucester cheese. The age-old cheese rolling event at Cooper’s Hill is an annual spectacle that draws huge crowds. Every year spectators watch a bunch of cheese rollers tumble down the hill after the cheese, which can reach speeds of up to 70mph (112km/h). The first person to reach the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. There have been a few minor injuries over the years. In 2009 a spectator was hurt when he fell out of a tree and had to be stretchered off with suspected fractures. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pits man and animal against nature, and has been called the ‘last great race on earth’. Mushers and their dogs cover 1,000 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Alaska has to offer, including jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, and miles of windswept coast, in temperatures often far below zero and winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility. World Bog SnorkellingThere’s not a great deal to see at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships, not least because competitors can only surface from the gloomy, 55-metre, water-filled trenches to check they are heading in the right direction. Still that doesn’t stop the crowds lining the two muddy trenches nor the competitors who last year jetted in from France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to dive into the freezing, smelly peat bog. The championships are held every year in Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Britain. Competitors must ‘swim’ two lengths of the 6ft deep trench without using conventional swimming strokes. But they are not alone. There are lot of creepy crawlies in the water, including the apparently harmless water scorpion. Baby Jumping FestivalOne of the most bizarre – and perhaps mildly alarming – events is The Baby Jumping Festival during which men depicting the devil leap over newborn babies lying on a mattress in the street. The festival, which dates back to the 1620s, is held every year in Castrillo de Murcia of Spain, and is part of the celebrations for the Catholic festival of Corpus Christi. The idea is to purify the babies’ souls, ward off evil spirits and protect them from sin. Tenzing-Hillary Everest MarathonMost of the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon may be downhill but don’t be fooled into thinking that will make your life easy. Organisers of this annual event insist competitors are in Nepal three weeks before the race so they can acclimatise to the high altitude. The three-week ‘holiday’ includes a 14-day trek to the marathon starting point – Everest Base Camp (5364m/17,598ft) – under medical supervision, and an ascent of Kala Patthar (5545m/18200ft) for the best views of Everest. The race itself, which includes two steep uphill sections, criss-crosses highland Sherpa trails of the Khumbu icefall en route to the finish line at Namche Bazaar. Wife-carrying World ChampionshipsFinland may be the birthplace of the Wife-carrying World Championships but men come from far and wide to compete in this epic display of brute strength. Competitors must wade through a metre-deep pool of water, clear hurdles and run as fast as they can with their wives dangled upside down over their shoulders. A wife has to weigh at least 49kg (about 7.7st) or she will be given a heavy rucksack to carry. Dropping her incurs a 15-second time penalty. The man, who completes the 253-metre obstacle course in the shortest time, receives his wife’s weight in beer. The competition began in 1992 and is believed to be rooted in the legend of a hard-faced gang leader who made a habit of stealing women from neighbouring villages. Comrades Ultra Marathon It might only be a recent phenomenon that ultra marathons have gained such popularity but some of them, such as 90km Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa have been around for many years. It was run for the first time on 24 May 1921 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is believed to be the world’s largest and oldest ultra marathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the “uphill course” (87 km) starting from Durban and the “down hill course” (89 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg. It was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700-kilometre route march through East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. The constitution of the race states one of its primary aims is to “celebrate mankind’s spirit over adversity”. The race attracts 18,000 runners each year, which included a team from INEOS in 2013, when Jim Ratcliffe, Leen Heemskerk, Chris Woods, Oliver Hayward-Young, George Ratcliffe and Alessia Maresca all successfully completed the course.

    8 minutes read Issue 7
  • INEOS Campaign Gains Ground – And Host Of Supporters

    Last year INEOS said it wanted to inspire thousands of children in the UK to give the TV, the Internet and video games a rest – to get off the sofa – and start enjoying life outdoors. It was an ambitious plan. A huge challenge. But INEOS is not one to run from a challenge. And with the help of little feet, INEOS’ GO Run For Fun campaign has been making huge strides. One of Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes has publicly backed INEOS’ ambitious plans to create the biggest children’s running initiative in the world. Double Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe, who was chairman of London Olympics’ organising committee, told guests at the launch of INEOS’ GO Run For Fun Foundation that much had been written about the importance of creating a lasting legacy of the 2012 Games. “GO Run for Fun is exactly what we were talking about,” he said. “INEOS has picked up the torch and run with it in the most profound way.” He was speaking just minutes before 500 children, aged five to 10, from 11 schools celebrated the national launch of GO Run For Fun with a 2km race at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London, in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium. The run, which mirrored events that have been held all over the UK since August last year, coincided with the launch of the GO Run For Fun Foundation, a new charity aimed at encouraging Britain’s youngsters to run for fun. Earlier INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe had also addressed guests and potential sponsors. “I do not feel comfortable asking for money,” he said. “But there has been such an insatiable appetite for us to stage these events that we cannot cope with the demand.” INEOS, which has invested £1.5million (€1.9m, $2.5m) to ensure the campaign’s success over the next three years, said there was enormous potential for it to grow way beyond the initial aim of 100,000 children. The Foundation is the first step to securing vital funding from government and businesses so that the GO Run For Fun team can run even more events with schools and local clubs across the UK and beyond. “Children used to be a lot more active when I was young,” said Jim. “We used to cycle, run or walk everywhere. Today they have a lot more distractions, and spend more time indoors playing on games consoles and smart phones than outside playing. It also doesn’t help that governments sell off school playing fields.” The World Health Organisation now regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century. And obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia. And more worryingly for the UK, Public Health England says 30% of children aged two to 15 are now overweight or obese. “The biggest health issue in my parents’ day was smoking,” said Jim. “Now it’s obesity.” INEOS’ campaign is about encouraging children to get active, and start running again. For fun. So far the campaign has won an army of supporters, including some of Britain’s best athletes - Brendan Foster, Baroness Tani Grey Thompson, Colin Jackson and Sharron Davies. Teachers, whose schools have taken part in one of the all-inclusive events all over the UK, are equally as impressed and understand the importance of leading by example. “I think teachers can be huge role models in encouraging children, who may never have run before, to take part in events like this,” said Claire Snailham, a teacher Ivy Chimneys Primary School, Epping, Essex. Claire, whose father was a PE teacher, escorted 90 children to Olympic Park for the celebrity-led fun run. “The children didn’t take any notice of the rain,” she said. “It was so exciting for them to be running at Olympic Park and they loved it mostly because it was for fun and not just a competition for the fastest runners.” The run, which was started by Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster, also signalled the start of the race to find sponsors. And that, by all accounts, is now going well too, with INEOS’ a number of companies already inspired to offer their support for the upcoming year. “We have had positive support from quite a few companies already and we are in discussion with many more,” said Leen Heemskerk, the Chief Financial Officer at INEOS O&P Europe (North) who is also leading the GO Run For Fun campaign. The appeal for more support, though, did not end there. On June 5, Jim – plus 20 school children and one very large mascot called DART – lobbied politicians at the Houses of Parliament about the growing need to tackle childhood obesity. “Parents worry about their children’s increasingly inactive lifestyles and we want to help them,” said Jim. “But decisive action is needed by the Government immediately in support of kids, to give them the opportunity to do more exercise. Inactivity can no longer be ignored.” He said despite the number of reports highlighting the problem, little had been done by any of the political parties. “I met a number of parliamentarians and they all agreed that something must be done so it is disappointing that there is so little action being taken on this issue,” said Jim. The parliamentary reception was hosted by Alex Cunningham and provided Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Charlie Webster and Brendan Foster, with an opportunity to remind politicians of the need to build on the Olympic legacy and agree a clear policy. Video GO Run For Fun goes on tour Continental Europe also got a taste of INEOS’ GO Run For Fun campaign this summer. Events were held in Rolle (Switzerland) home to INEOS’ head office, and in communities close to INEOS sites in Antwerp (Belgium) and Köln (Germany). In all, more than 3,000 children aged between four and 12 took part in 11 runs. On hand to cheer them on and ensure each event ran smoothly were hundreds of staff from all three sites who willingly turned out to act as first aiders, marshals and hand out T-shirts. “It was heart-warming to see so many big smiles on the little faces,” said Katrien Poppe, Personnel and Communications Manager at INEOS Oxide who helped to co-ordinate the events with Nadine Ceustermans from the Geel site in Belgium. “Everyone was very enthusiastic.” The events in Belgium proved so popular – more than 1000 children, aged between four and 12, took part in six runs – that the local athletics clubs and schools are already asking INEOS to run them again next year. “The organisers were all very surprised at how fit Belgium children are but obesity is not really a problem in Belgium,” said Katrien. In June 1,500 children took part in four events in Germany. Olympic medallist, pole vaulter Björn Otto attended the first run. “It is very important that children get an early interest in sport because sport in any form is important for the future and development of children,” he said. The Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Schule in Pulheim was one of the schools which took part. “It was a wonderful event,” said teacher Steffi Nickel. “And I am so glad that I encouraged my class to take part in it.” Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Communications Manager at INEOS in Köln, said childhood obesity was now becoming a problem in Germany. “Many schools already have a yearly sponsored run as part of their curriculum,” she said. The Swiss event saw 800 children from schools and sports clubs in Rolle, Nyon, Vich and Lausanne run 1.6km at the at the football ground in Rolle. “Getting Children excited by running at an early age is so important and means that they are more likely to continue later in life,” said Marisa Lavanchy, the Swiss record holder for the 4 x100 metre relay who started the race with Lausanne Hockey Club defender Federico Lardi. “Go Run For Fun is a wonderful initiative that helps achieve this. Who knows we might be encouraging the next generation of Swiss champions.” GO Run For Fun is planning to include more venues in its programme next year as it builds on a successful 2014 programme, which has attracted more than 35,000 children to date.

    10 minutes read Issue 7
  • Market Forces At Work

    INEOS is on the brink of creating a world-class chlorvinyls business. But the INOVYN joint venture with Solvay has achieved something else; it has given one of its other businesses, which until now had kept a relatively low profile, a chance to shine, as Ralston Skinner explained to INCH. Video Demosthenes – arguably the greatest of Greek orators – once said that small opportunities were often the beginning of great enterprises. One who firmly believes that is Ralston Skinner, General Manager of newly-formed INEOS ChloroToluenes. The speciality chemicals business, which employs about 100 people, is about to stand on its own merits for the very first time. And Ralston is excited at the prospect of what it can deliver. To its customers around the world. And to the bottom line. “The business used to be part of the much larger INEOS ChlorVinyls where it was understandably a low priority strategically,” he said. “But all that has now changed with the INOVYN joint venture.” In short, a perhaps neglected bit of the business is about to take centre stage. Most of those who work for INEOS ChloroToluenes are based in Tessenderlo, Belgium. The rest are either in Maastricht in The Netherlands or Runcorn in the UK. The business, which has an annual turnover of 80 million Euros, sells about 50,000 tons of products every year. “With the right strategy, we’d hope to double turnover in the next three years,” said Ralston. Despite its current size, it is one of the top three manufacturers of chlorinated toluene derivatives in the world. “There aren’t many of us,” said Ralston. “In Europe there are only two or three big players who produce benzylchloride. There are no producers in Japan and just one in the US. That presents a massive opportunity for us. The market is there. We just need to develop our innovative logistics platform and we know the customers will want to do business with us.” In the world of chemistry, benzylchloride is the one we cannot live without. “It really is the building block for everything you can imagine,” said Business Manager Bruno Stockhem. “You name it – cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, paints – it owes its life to it.” INEOS’ main competitor is in Europe. It may have similar technology but there the similarity ends. “Their heritage is completely different to ours,” said Ralston. “We have developed our products into different sectors.” ”They focus on cresols, the precursors for anti-oxidants, pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene such as toothpastes and mouthwash, whereas we produce products that are used to make things such as disinfectants, agrochemicals, paints, fragrances and resins,” he adds. The demand for agrochemicals – fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, which are used by farmers in the production of crops – is one that is growing rapidly in the developing world. The United Nations believes that 9.2 billion people will be living on Earth in 2075. More people means more mouths to feed and a shortage of arable land. Agrochemicals improve productivity by helping farmers to tackle pests and weeds that can wipe out entire harvests. Last year Latin America’s agrochemical market grew by around a quarter to around $14 billion, with the world agrochemical market predicted to reach $223 billion by next year. In May The Crop Protection Association welcomed the UK Government’s commitment to do more to boost domestic agricultural productivity, but urged the European Union to adopt a similar approach. “Unfortunately, our European colleagues seem to be unaware of the role their continent must play in optimising agricultural productivity,” said Nick von Westenholz, CEO of The Crop Protection Association. “We see this most vividly with EU policy-makers taking an overly precautious approach to crop protection technologies. This has meant that many of the key crop protection products our farmers rely on are, or are at risk of, being taken off the market, even though they have been proven to be safe and are subject to one of the most stringent approvals processes in the world.” INEOS says the demand for agrochemicals is coming from Brazil, China and South Africa – all countries which have seen rapid agricultural development and want to become more efficient. “There is a real growth market for this kind of product in those countries,” said Ralston. “The growth is certainly not coming from Europe.” INEOS ChloroToluenes’ benzyl alcohol is also used in the production of anti-fouling marine paint which stops barnacles and algae from clinging to the hulls of ships, and slowing them down. It may be a small market, but it’s an important one. “Barnacles are actually a real problem because ships burn excess fuel when their hulls are encrusted with sealife,” said Ralston. “That in turn leads to increased carbon emissions.” Producing niche, speciality chemicals, which are not easy to replicate, is what INEOS ChloroToluenes is good at. “A lot of our customers are also relative specialists,” said Ralston. “So we might make one product for one customer. But we benefit when our customers find new, innovative uses for our products.” Looking ahead, there are opportunities, challenges and threats. INEOS faces a logistical challenge if it wants to increase exports to Japan and the US. “Japan has traditionally been supplied by China but we are looking at what we need to do to compete with China,” said Ralston. “It is going to be down to clever logistics but what we are good at is finding innovative ways to reach awkward destinations with awkward quantities.” The fear of increased EU regulation, which makes it difficult or uneconomic to exports chemicals, is always a danger. “There’s always the chance that one of our chemicals could be added to the ‘at risk’ list which makes it uneconomical,” said Ralston. As INEOS ChloroToluenes’ plans to grow its business by shipping chemicals around the world, it is also important that it is able to secure its supplies of toluene, which it mixes with chlorine to make all its products. INEOS ChloroToluenes currently buys most of its toluene from other companies. It knows that a reliable supply is key to its success and is continually looking at new ways to make sure this is not left to chance. “That’s why we are looking at projects which can also bring toluene from INEOS’ facility in Koln, Germany, to our plant in Belgium,” said Ralston. “That way we ‘keep it in the family’.”

    10 minutes read Issue 7
  • Chorus Of Approval

    Safety is INEOS’ top priority. And everyone in the company knows it. But it’s always heart-warming when industry experts recognise what the company is striving to achieve – and publicly acknowledge it. The voice of the chemical industry in France has named Petroineos as worthy winners of a prestigious national award for its innovative approach to caring for the well-being of its staff. The Union des Industries Chimiques, The French trade association for the chemicals sector, presented the Lavera site with the Responsible Care award in the occupational health category for the way the company now prevents staff being exposed to certain products. “The use of biological indicators of exposure in itself is not new,” said Jacques Willocquet, HSSE manager at the French site. “But in most cases it is limited to a yes/no response. What we have done is introduce a rigorous statistical analysis of thousands of results, which allows us to detect the slightest change so we know if a member of staff has been exposed to even a small amount.” The award is presented every three years. This year’s award ceremony coincided with the Journées de la Chimie, which meant the event was attended by many high-profile guests, including Arnaud Montebourg, France’s Industry Minister. “Apart from the fact that the award reflects well on INEOS’ reputation in the petrochemical industry, it also shows the staff how tracking relentlessly weak signals is helping us to better care about their health,” said Jacques. Petroineos beat 17 other companies to win the occupational health category. Across the Atlantic, staff at INEOS’ O&P Battleground Manufacturing Complex (BMC) in Texas were also celebrating after picking up four awards at the Texas Chemical Council’s (TCC) annual awards. The plant won the Caring for Texas Award, the Zero Contractor Incident Rate Award and the Distinguished Safety Service Award in recognition of its exemplary safety performance last year. But the big award of the night went to Bob Bradshaw for his outstanding leadership skills in managing the plant safely. He won The Gerald R. Ehrman Award for Management in honour of Jerry Ehrman, a retired plant manager of the Sabine River Works in Orange, Texas, who was extremely dedicated to occupational safety. The award is presented to just one site manager every year – if one merits it. But so far it has only been presented to two people in the past four years and one of those was Bob. “The award is only given to a plant manager who embodies the same leadership and dedication to safety management as Mr Ehrman,” said Morgan French, BMC SSHE Manager. “Bob is unrelenting in his goal to make sure everyone who works at the site goes home at the end of their shift safely, every day. He demonstrates a genuine personal commitment to safety excellence and challenges everyone who works with him to attain a comparable level of personal safety excellence.”

    3 minutes read Issue 7
  • Debate: Can Religion and Science Co-exist? 

    The late German-born physicist Albert Einstein believed that science without religion was lame, and religion without science was blind. But the debate over whether science and religion can co-exist has been going on since the dawn of mankind and continues to divide opinion even today, as INCH discovered. I am convinced that evolution and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. Indeed, if science and religion are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because they concern different matters. Science and religion are like two different windows for looking at the world. The two windows look at the same world, but they show different aspects of that world. Science concerns the processes that account for the natural world: how planets move, the composition of matter and the atmosphere, the origin and adaptations of organisms. Religion concerns the meaning and purpose of the world and of human life, the proper relation of people to the Creator and to each other, the moral values that inspire and govern people’s lives. Apparent contradictions only emerge when either the science or the beliefs, or often both, trespass their own boundaries and wrongfully encroach upon one another’s subject matter.Francisco Ayala, biologist, University of California, Irvine Observe: science and religion *do* coexist. The first scientists were clergymen. Today, religious institutions from universities to the Vatican Observatory support professional science. And the proportion of scientists who are themselves believers mirrors the fraction in the general population. Science is based on the religious assertion that Creation is orderly, free from the interference of nature gods, and worthy of study. So who continues to push this myth of a “conflict”? What is their agenda? Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer at the Vatican Observatory Religion and science are like oil and water. They might co-exist, but they can never mix to produce a homogeneous medium. Religion and science are fundamentally incompatible. They disagree profoundly on how we obtain knowledge of the world. Science is based observation and reasoning from observation. Religion assumes that human beings can access a deeper level of information that is not available by either observation or reason. The scientific method is proven by its success. The religious method is refuted by its failure.Victor J. Stenger, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Hawaii Personally I’m not religious at all, but I have religious scientists as friends and they seem to manage just fine. I think those people are more likely to take some religious things a bit less literally though, like a religious geologist probably wouldn’t think that the Earth and everything else was actually made by God 6000 years ago, since their science tells them that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.Grant Kennedy, astrophysicist, University of Cambridge Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand. Whether or not you believe in God, you must believe this: when we as a species abandon our trust in a power greater than us, we abandon our sense of accountability. Faiths, all faiths, are admonitions that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable. With faith we are accountable to each other, to ourselves, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to.Dan Brown, author of Angels & Demons Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognise our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.The late Carl Sagan, American astrophysicist From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped.The late William H. Bragg, British physicist Religion and science are indeed incompatible. Religion and science both offer explanations for why life and the universe exist. Science relies on testable empirical evidence and observation. Religion relies on subjective belief in a creator. Only one explanation is correct. The other must be discarded. Explanations require evidence. None exists for a creator outside the human mind, whereas the evidence for evolution and the origins of life mounts every day. In the face of this uncontradicted evidence, religious belief in a divinity is no more viable than belief in the now-proverbial Flying Spaghetti Monster.Lorna Salzman, American environmental activist There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works. I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws. When you look at the vast size of the universe, and how insignificant and accidental human life is in it, the existence of a God seems most implausible.Physicist Stephen Hawking

    5 minutes read Issue 7
  • INEOS Joins The Revolution

    INEOS has gone into partnership with a company that has developed a unique product which could help to save the rainforest. INEOS Compounds will be using its expertise to help increase the company’s sales of Resysta, a recyclable material made primarily from rice husks and PVC that looks and feels like wood but, unlike wood, does not splinter, crack, rot, swell or fade. “Japanese companies have been trying to mix rice husks and polymers since the 1960s but they have never come up with a sellable product,” said Roland Stoiber, chief operations officer at Resysta International. INEOS Compounds’ Swiss site in Sins, near Lucerne, began working with Resysta International last year. “Since then it has become the second biggest business for us at Sins,” said Managing Director Thomas Breitwieser who is championing the project. Resysta International was won over by INEOS’ innovative approach, its ability to think and act quickly, its hard-working ethos, its knowledge of the European market, its excellent contacts and its manufacturing capabilities. “We had a good relationship right from the beginning and we trusted each other to work hard together to build a market that is worth billions of Euros,” said Thomas. INEOS Compounds, one of the top manufacturers of PVC compounds in Europe, will manufacture Resysta at its plants in the UK, Switzerland and Sweden and sell it directly to INEOS’ customers. It will also sell some of the raw materials, on behalf of Resysta International, to its biggest customers who may wish to mix the chemicals themselves. “It is wonderful to be part of placing a brand new PVC-based product in the market,” said Thomas. “That sort of thing only happens maybe every 30 years because PVC is already the most field-tested plastic in the world. But we will be developing the product alongside Resysta International as new sales opportunities are unearthed. It has huge market potential.” Leroy Merlin, one of the top five D-I-Y stores in France, recently named it as their product of the year. The main ingredient of the material, which can be used in a huge range of ways in the construction and furniture industries, are rice husks which would otherwise be burned as a waste product in the Far East where it was first developed. The rice husks are then mixed with PVC components. The trade in tropical hardwoods, such as mahogany and teak, has long been seen as a major reason for the destruction of the rainforests. This changes all that. “Some miracles happen and some are invented,” said Roland. “Even salt water, sun and wind, when other materials give up, Resysta carries on. This is the key innovation to what was needed to address the shrinking rainforests and the inferior quality of previous wood composite products. It has opened a new market to all PVC resin producers.”

    3 minutes read Issue 7
  • INEOS To Buy Out BASF Stake In Styrolution

    INEOS has agreed to buy out fellow chemical company BASF’s 50% stake in its styrene plastics joint venture for €1.1 billion. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will see INEOS take full control of Styrolution which makes plastics for cars, electronics, toy and the construction industry. “We are pleased to bring Styrolution fully into the INEOS family,” said INEOS Capital chairman Jim Ratcliffe. As part of the joint venture agreement signed in October 2011, INEOS always had the right to buy out BASF. The joint venture had been set up to create a company that was capable of competing effectively with large-scale producers from Asia and the Middle East.  “Styrolution has fulfilled that promise,” said Jim. Styrolution is the leading, global supplier of styrenics, which also ensure computer casings and monitors are strong and heat resistant. Four out of five printers in the world are produced with a casing made from Styrolution. Today the business employees about 3,200 people worldwide at 17 manufacturing sites in 10 countries. Once the deal is completed, the business will operate as a standalone company within INEOS Industries Holdings Limited.

    1 minute read Issue 7
  • World Class Thinking

    Innovation isn’t just about developing new products. Sometimes it’s about just thinking differently, as INEOS did in 2009 and has now been publicly recognised for it. At the 2nd annual Petrochemicals Awards of Excellence in Berlin, Germany, INEOS beat strong competition from industry giants DOW and BASF to win the prestigious award for its ‘outstanding contribution to the chemical industry’. The award recognised INEOS’ ambitious and innovative plan to be the first company to ship ethane derived from shale gas from America to Europe to secure the long-term competitiveness of its European crackers. “We are one of the very few who could have undertaken such a move,” said Fernando Mota, INEOS Feedstock, Energy & CO2 Manager. “We saw the opportunity early and moved quickly in this rapidly developing arena.” The first shipments of gas will arrive next year, heralding an exciting new phase in the European petrochemicals industry and effectively moving INEOS’ crackers at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland into pole position to compete. 

    1 minute read Issue 7
  • European Commission Clears Way For Joint Venture With Solvay

    INEOS and Solvay have signed a definitive Joint Venture Agreement to create a leading PVC Producer to be called INOVYN. The two companies announced their plans to join forces in May last year but it took until May this year for the European Commission to approve the proposed joint venture.  Together they will have combined sales of 4.3 billion Euros, employ about 5,650 staff in nine countries and rank among the top three producers in the world. But first they must implement an agreed remedy package for the divestment of five INEOS-owned assets – the membrane chlorine plant and EDC/ VCM plants at Tessenderlo, Belgium, the PVC plants in Mazingarbe, France, and Beek in the Netherlands, the PVC and VCM plants at Wilhelmshaven in Germany, and the British EDC plants in Runcorn. The Commission also wants Runcorn’s membrane chlorine plant to be placed in a joint venture between the INEOS/ Solvay joint venture and the new owner of the five affected plants. Once all that has been done, the JV can go-ahead. “The newly combined business, which will be of world scale, will be able to better respond to rapidly changing European markets and to match increasing competition from global producers,” said INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe.

    1 minute read Issue 7
  • EPS Qatar Signs Deal With INEOS Technologies

    INEOS has licensed its expandable polystyrene (EPS) technology to EPS Qatar for its planned complex in Qatar. The plant, which will produce a wide range of expandable polystyrene grades to satisfy the growing regional demand, will be the biggest EPS unit in the Middle East and North Africa region.  EPS is a lightweight, strong thermoplastic product with excellent thermal insulation, which makes it ideal for the packaging and construction industries.   Initially the plant will be able to produce 50,000 tons per year but will have the capacity to double production.

    1 minute read Issue 7
  • INEOS’ Global Appeal

    INEOS Technologies has agreed to supply four state-of-the-art BICHLOR™ bipolar electrolysers to HF Chlor-Alkali’s new manufacturing plant in the US state of Iowa. Using INEOS’ technology, the new plant in Eddyville will be able to manufacture caustic soda, muriatic acid and bleach for an adjacent food processing facility and other Midwest facilities. INEOS BICHLOR™ electrolysers have now been sold to 56 projects around the world.  The biggest plant using the technology is in Runcorn in the UK, where 20 BICHLOR™ electrolysers produce more than 1,000,000te of chlor-alkali products each year.

    1 minute read Issue 7
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

    When great minds think alike, unbelievable things can happen, as INCH discovered when it looked for evidence of entrepreneurship at work in INEOS. Eleanor Roosevelt said the future belonged to those who believed in the beauty of their dreams. It also belongs to those who are prepared to challenge the present. At INEOS, that is an approach which is actively encouraged, celebrated and rewarded. It wants to empower its people so that they see opportunities to run the business better – from wherever they are sitting – and have the drive to make the change happen. In 2009, during the worst global recession in decades, INEOS did exactly that. It saw an opportunity, moved fast with a clear strategic vision and wrote a new chapter in the history of European petrochemicals. “It was a game-changer,” said Bill Reid, business director for Olefins & Polymers Europe (North). Demand in Europe had been shrinking fast, profits were plummeting, Europe’s crackers were closing, and INEOS’ main competitor went bust. To make matters worse, the gulf between energy and feedstock prices in Europe and America was beginning to widen as the US found a way to unlock vast reserves of previously untapped gas, from shale. “They were arguably the darkest of days for our business, as they were for manufacturing generally,” said Bill. Desperate times, though, call for radical thinking. INEOS decided if it could not do anything to drive down Europe’s crippling energy costs, it would ship America’s cheap shale-derived ethane gas to Europe to help reduce its operating costs and maintain a competitive, global olefins and polymers business. The plan worked. In 2012 INEOS managed to complete a seemingly impossible sequence of deals to finally secure, 15-year contracts with the three companies that would be responsible for the drilling, distributing, liquefying and delivering hundreds of thousands of tons of ethane every year from America to Norway and Scotland. It also began building a gas storage tank and terminal at its Olefins & Polymers plant in Rafnes. When the shipments start arriving at Rafnes next year, INEOS will be the first petrochemical company in Europe to import cheap gas from the US and receive the competitive advantage of ‘shale economics’. “No one had thought to do this,” said Gerd Franken, CEO of Olefins & Polymers Europe (North). INEOS’ Grangemouth site in Scotland in the UK will also see the benefits of such entrepreneurial thinking when Britain starts to take delivery of US shale-derived gas from 2016 to supplement declining North Sea feedstocks. The £300 million investment in a new import terminal incorporating a 40-metre high ethane tank, capable of holding 33,000 tons of ethane, will help to turn a loss-making site into a profitable site. Such entrepreneurial thinking is embedded in INEOS’ culture. Employees don’t just want to make a living; they want to make a difference. And, more importantly, they believe they can. Overcoming obstacles, seeing new ways of working, thinking laterally, and regularly challenging the status quo are all in a day’s work at INEOS. The company’s entrepreneurial spirit is there too in its approach to acquisitions, its strategic vision and its ability to make critical decisions quickly. From the top down, INEOS encourages everyone to not just see problems, solutions and opportunities, but to come up with ideas to do something about them, as INCH discovered.

    5 minutes read Issue 6
  • The INEOS Difference

    INEOS is different. You can see it in the faces of those who work for the company and feel it in the air. There is a buzz about the place. Over the years INEOS may have grown into the world’s third largest chemical company, but it has not lost its spirit.    Working for INEOS promotes independent thinking. But what’s good to know is that there is a team behind you to help, if necessary. To me, entrepreneurship means seizing the initiative, inspiring others and driving results.Stijn Dekeukeleire RTD engineerINEOS Oxide, Belgium  Having worked for a more traditional ‘blue chip’ chemical company in the past where life was safe and ‘cosy’, the INEOS environment is much more challenging and demanding. But, because of that, I feel more involved and able to make a difference and, as a result, I enjoy the job a lot more. INEOS constantly looks to maximise business opportunities through innovative solutions whether these are technical, commercial or financial.Dave HartINEOS Nitriles, Seal Sands, UK  INEOS doesn’t accept that things need to be done in a certain way, just because that’s how they’ve always been done. The company likes to challenge convention and is constantly striving to achieve the same results while driving down costs. I like the fact that I work for a company that challenges you to seek your own solutions but it can be challenging, at times frustrating and sometimes uncomfortable.Paul McNultyINEOS Nitriles, Seal Sands, UK  Encouraging employees to seek solutions to their own problems results means we feel involved in our own destiny. Such a spirit also creates an environment which allows us to easily build solid networks with people within INEOS and outside the company.Johan LootsSr. production engineer utilities + energy & carbonINEOS Oxide, Belgium  INEOS is an inspiring environment that allows you to go as far as your mind lets you. So often people believe working long hours is the way to go, but working on the right things is probably more important than sitting at a desk for hours on end. The secret is to get focused and stay focused and trust your own instincts. Because our business is constantly changing, we must adapt to the changing circumstances and set new goals and implement smarter solutions. Believing in yourself makes it so much easier to win over others to achieve the same goals. You can sit around and analyze forever if you want, but while you are doing that the competition has moved on.Peggy GeritsPlanning & logistics managerINEOS Oxide, Belgium AT INEOS we are encouraged to think ‘outside the box’ to find solutions to problems and develop the business. You can see new possibilities every day at work. Although we are all different and have different features and characteristics, innovation is one we all share.Carita JohanssonHR specialist/communications officerINEOS ChlorVinyls, Stenungsund, Sweden  INEOS is definitely an entrepreneurial company in how it develops its businesses, products and people. It is both stimulating and rewarding to be given the freedom to think differently and see new possibilities opening up. And there is evidence of it at work, be it in how we safely run the business or constantly try to reduce our impact on the environment.Kjell AnderssonConstructorINEOS ChlorVinyls, Stenungsund, Sweden INEOS feels like a newborn company even though it was founded 15 years ago. It cuts through the nonsense and challenges it to seeks solutions to its own problems. I have worked for other companies where I have become so bogged down in bureaucracy and hit so many brick walls that I lost enthusiasm to work for them.Debbie ClarkPA/office managerINEOS Group, Hampshire, UK  INEOS operates very differently compared to other companies, especially in the chemical industry. People who like hierarchies will be lost here. INEOS forces you to think differently, to be flexible and straightforward and work beyond conventions. If you’re someone who feels comfortable with that, who enjoys an immense amount of freedom and wants to make a difference, then this is the company for you. It is great to have no limits apart from the ones you set yourself. Here we are encouraged to try new paths, to explore fresh ideas, and to see the bigger picture. INEOS is about the passion – and a will – to drive things forward.Dr. Anne-Gret Iturriaga AbarzuaHead of corporate communicationsINEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe North I certainly view INEOS as an entrepreneurial chemical company because of its willingness to challenge existing working practices and attitudes in society. Working for the company is incredibly rewarding because it does encourage you to look for, find and implement solutions to your own problems.David SopherINEOS Nitriles, Seal Sands, UK INEOS’ management is very courageous and successful. My job is so enjoyable that it doesn’t feel like work. To me entrepreneurship is taking personal responsibility for the business, and over the years I have seen it hard at work within the company especially during the 2008/2009 crisis and more recently during the dispute at Grangemouth.Manfred HartungAsset manager energy departmentINEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe North As a recent graduate, INEOS makes me a ‘go-get-it’ type of engineer. I am being trained to get out there and figure things out for myself while having the backing and support of well-trained and highly experienced individuals to help me out when needed. At INEOS you are given real responsibility, real accountability, and real exposure to the business world. If you have the right attitude and mindset, you can go far because the opportunity is there. Every day we deal with real issues, real problems and we work together so that by the end of the day most problems are solved.Amadou TounkaraI&E reliability engineerINEOS O&P USA  At INEOS we are given the freedom to use our knowledge and resources to develop innovative and high-value ideas in a proactive and non-fearful manner. That approach means we are not left ‘fighting fires’ or getting by on traditional, prescribed or “status quo” ways of doing business.Mark GessnerEngineering advisorINEOS O&P USA It is Interesting and exciting to work for an organisation that challenges you to seek solutions to your own problems. At INEOS you are encouraged to be resourceful, find new ways of working, and develop your own role.Annika PetrussonAssistant to Managing DirectorINEOS ChlorVinyls, Stenungsund, Sweden Nothing is spoon-fed at INEOS which means you develop and learn so much faster than you would otherwise. The lack of an enforced hierarchy really allows people to flourish and it is a real credit to the company that every member of the organisation takes a personal investment in its success. I see evidence of entrepreneurship at work on a daily basis because I am surrounded by people who are not limited to their job description and constantly seeking opportunities for business development, improvement and efficiency. This is of their own accord with no pushing needed from anyone else. There is a real degree of self-discipline at work coupled with sheer drive and determination which permeates throughout the organisation.Gabriella IsidroPolymer Product OfficerINEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe North

    8 minutes read Issue 6
  • A spirited workforce

    Novel approach: A novel approach by INEOS Oxide enabled the business to not only make money from waste, but also helped to create a successful business for two other companies, and remove the equivalent of 60,000 cars from the road. The ball started rolling when INEOS initiated a search for companies with a possible interest in CO2 being created by its ethylene oxide plant in Belgium. “We make quite a lot of CO2, we knew that there must be good use that this could be put to but it was not our market,” said Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Oxide, which already operated the most energy-efficient ethylene oxide unit in Europe. Rather than release this CO2 directly into the atmosphere, INEOS Oxide set out to find two companies which, together, could run a successful business, using the CO2 to make such things as soft, fizzy drinks and dry ice, which keeps food and drink fresh when it is transported from warehouses to shops. INEOS introduced Messer to Strombeek IJsfabriek, who went on to form a joint venture, running their new business, BECO2, from INEOS’ Zwijndrecht site in Antwerp. “We convinced them to build their own company instead of buying their CO2 from someone else,” said Hans. “They now take about 150,000 tons of CO2 and we share our costs and infrastructure.” At the press launch of the CO2 liquefaction unit, CO2 was taken straight from the ethylene oxide unit and made into sparkling water. “Everybody from the plant, who was there, stepped forward and grabbed a glass,” said Hans. “We offered it to the press and they all took a step backwards. It was a typical example of the wider community not knowing what chemicals are all about.” Pinpointing niche markets: You would not necessarily think that the Turkish construction industry would be the most obvious market to look to when developing a new, high performance insulation material, but it was for INEOS Styrenics. “The Turkish economy has been growing strongly in recent years and government building regulations have tightened following disastrous earthquakes in 1999 and 2011 in which many buildings collapsed,” said Rob Ingram, Chief Operating Officer at INEOS Styrenics. “There was a lot of building work going on and insulation became increasingly important as standards increased.” Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) in the form of white foam blocks is a leading material used for building insulation in Europe and was already widely used in Turkey. What was new for the Turkish market was a grey version of this material in which the thermal insulation properties are improved by 20%. INEOS had three options: battle for a bigger share of the developing grey EPS market in Germany, where people already recognised the benefits and where there is a strong local producer; wait for the rest of Europe to catch-on and follow the German lead; or look for alternative markets and try to capture a first mover advantage. INEOS Styrenics chose the third option. It worked with one of its key customers in Turkey and sold the benefits of its EPS Silver product to them. Together they saw an opportunity to be the first to introduce Turkey to this new material. They launched a joint promotion at a major national construction exhibition, spoke to architects and construction companies about the product’s benefits, hosted industry seminars, and wrote a series of articles for the national trade press. “It was not an overnight success but in five years we have grown sales from nothing to become the market leader,” said Rob. “And that is all because we saw the opportunity and got into the market early to establish our product as the standard for high quality.” Living what you believe. Having faith in a plan is as critical as the plan itself. At INEOS Europe AG that belief saved its Sarralbe PP, a small polypropylene production site in France which had been losing about four million Euros every year. In 2012, Xavier Cros, Polymers Business Manager at INEOS O&P South, took over the site and implemented a detailed plan that, in the past, had failed miserably. “None of the actions were really new or breakthrough,” he said. “The difference was that this time the people on site believed the changes would work.” He addressed the entire workforce and each was given a target. “Every person at the site became part of the plan, so it was down to everyone whether it succeeded or failed,” said Xavier. The plan worked. Within a year, the site was back in profit. “That success has breathed new life into the site,” he said. “Everyone now believes we can do even better this year.” Product information: Methoxypolyethyleenglycol (MPEG) had been used for almost half a century when INEOS was founded in 1998. It was a tried and tested molecule, but it had very few uses. Shortly after INEOS bought the former BP petrochemical site in Antwerp, it began looking at changing the make-up of many chemicals to make them work harder for the company, add value and give customers better products. MPEG was one of them. But before INEOS changed it, a team went into the market place to find out what construction companies wanted and needed. “By changing the specification and working with the core companies, we introduced a whole new technology in that sector,” said Hans Casier, CEO of INEOS Oxide. “A good example is for fast-setting concrete. We provided the solution by changing the way we produced the molecule to meet the needs of this application and we saw a huge increase in sales and contribution.” Bold decisions: Leadership demands courage. Two years ago INEOS was buying catalysts and selling them on to their customers. Today they make their own and sell about 500 tons a year thanks to a bold decision to build a catalyst manufacturing plant in India. “If we had built this plant in Europe or America, it would have cost us four times as much,” said Peter Williams, CEO at INEOS Technologies. Working in partnership with a local company, INEOS now makes catalysts at its own plant and then ships them to customers around the world. “We did take a calculated risk, but it’s a very competitive business, it’s important to us and we could not have afforded to build a plant at one of INEOS’ existing sites,” he said. The catalyst manufacturing plant has been so successful that a second one is currently being built. A willingness to take risks: A willingness to take calculated risks also shows true entrepreneurship at work. CEO Peter Williams said his team at INEOS Technologies showed that in trying to win over a customer in Mexico. INEOS was on the verge of licensing its technology for a polymer plant to a company in Mexico but the customer was concerned that this was the first time INEOS had made one of the products it had planned to manufacture on a commercial scale. “We knew it was possible from the work we had done in our laboratory, and we were confident in our capabilities,” said Peter. To convince the customer, INEOS used a pilot plant to manufacture the product and then shipped it to Japan where it was converted into what the customer wanted – packaging. INEOS then sent a team to Mexico to test the packaging on the market. “We made only two batches of the product and it hit the spot,” said Peter. “We won the business and the relationship with the customer goes from strength to strength.” Thinking outside the box: Thinking outside the box can save millions, as INEOS Phenol discovered when it planned to make available land it was not using and offer use of its jetty to a neighbouring company in Antwerp, Belgium. The deal is a great example of a win-win situation with both parties gaining from the overall project. ADPO will be able to use the INEOS jetty, (a critical facility for a logistics and chemical storage company based in a major port), and INEOS will now benefit from the use of new railway sidings, pipelines and loading facilities which ADPO plan to build right next door to INEOS’ site. “The main line railway runs right past our site and they are going to be building sidings off that, which will mean our phenol and acetone can be loaded on to trains instead of going by road,” said Nick Williamson, business development manager for INEOS Phenol. “Just putting in a kilometre or so of sidings is costing millions of Euros. We would never have been able to justify the investment on our own but in approaching this issue with ADPO we have both gained from the project. By looking at what we have differently, we have been able to deliver value for our business.” In addition ADPO also plans to extend the jetty substantially which will mean INEOS can bring in larger shipments of raw materials and export more. “This is an important development for the business which will open up further opportunities in the future,” said Nick.

    12 minutes read Issue 6
  • Europe’s chemical industry faces extinction in 10 years

    Last year INEOS began warning that Europe’s petrochemical industry was facing huge challenges from outside and within. Since then, little has changed to help Europe compete with America, the Middle East and China. As it stands Europe is now one of the most expensive places in the world to make petrochemicals. That has to change, Europe’s politicians must wake up to this competitive onslaught before it’s too late, says INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe. Europe is dithering. But it cannot afford to, not if it wants to retain a competitive chemical industry, says INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “It’s not looking good for Europe but Europe seems agnostic about the fate of European chemicals,” he says. “I can see green taxes, I can see no shale gas, I can see closure of nuclear, I can see manufacturing being driven away. I can see the competition authorities in Brussels blissfully unaware of the tsunami of imported product heading this way and standing blindly in the way of sensible restructuring.” In an open letter to EU Commission President José Manual Barroso, Jim calls on him to take urgent steps to protect Europe’s chemical industry. “Strategically, and economically, no large economy should abandon its chemical industry,” he says. INEOS’ profits in Europe have halved in the past three years while its profits in the USA have tripled. And BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, has announced – for the first time ever – a strategic cutback in European investment, citing stagnant markets, expensive energy and expensive labour. “Energy, in the form of gas, in Europe is three times higher than the USA today, whilst electricity is 50% higher,” says Jim. “There are no cheap feedstocks in Europe. USA and Middle East feedstocks costs are in another league.” He said shale gas in America had transformed its competitiveness and its confidence. “There are $71 billion worth of announced petrochemical expansions on the back of shale gas flowing into chemicals,” he said. “And that is predicted to grow to over $100 billion. In contrast Europe announces closure after closure.” In the UK alone, 22 chemical plants have closed since 2009. Chemicals depend upon competitive energy and feedstock costs. Whilst intensely technical as an industry, and one of the reasons historically that Europe has been so successful, Jim says technology alone will not save it, and warns that the industry could be wiped out within a decade. “The European textile industry was wiped out because it could not compete with Asian labour rates,” he said. “Chemicals could go the same way. It could well be another European dinosaur.” The chemical industry in Europe currently employs one million people directly and five million others indirectly. “In Europe, chemicals and automotives share top billing with $1 trillion revenues each,” he said. “Economically speaking, the chemical industry is one of Europe’s jewels in the crown.” In his letter, Jim also highlighted the very real threat from China, which is set to become the world’s largest economy by 2020. “The Chinese are building relentlessly,” he said. “Whilst in recent history, they have soaked up all the world’s surplus chemicals, they will soon be self sufficient. And beyond that they will start to reverse the flow.”

    8 minutes read Issue 6
  • Little feet make big strides

    The bold, new initiative launched by INEOS last year to get Britain’s children off the sofa has become a runaway success. So many children – far from running away – have been queuing up to take part in INEOS’ Go Run For Fun events throughout the UK. The calendar is full for 2014/2015 with more than 30,000 children due to take part this year. “These events have been extremely successful in the UK,” said Leen Heemskerk, who is leading the Go Run For Fun campaign. “We have been approached by councils, athletics clubs and schools, all wanting us to stage events. It’s wonderful but if we are to extend the programme we need more resources. We have taken it as far as we can and we want to take it further, to even more kids but we can only do that with third party support from commercial organisations and Government.” Video Since August last year, more than 15,000 children have already taken part in the INEOS-inspired mile-long runs for fun. Melton Primary School in Suffolk hosted one of the events. “Not only was it well organised, well run and very inclusive, but it has had such a positive impact on our pupils and has shown them that running, and being active, can be both fun and exciting,” said school sports coach Andrew Northcote. Jim Ratcliffe, is passionate about running and this campaign. “The idea for Go Run For Fun was born from a passion to get as many children running as possible, as early as possible,” he said. “But the campaign is a real team effort and we couldn’t have done it without the team’s hard work and dedication. To reach the 15,000th runner milestone so soon is a sterling effort from all.” By the end of this year, INEOS hopes to have staged 100 events in the UK. Some will be linked to major sporting events such as the Sheffield Half Marathon and the Bristol 10k, others to schools and athletic clubs. Colin Jackson, an Olympic silver medallist, is an ambassador for Go Run For Fun. “This has been a magical opportunity for children to try a little bit of running,” he said. “These kids may never have tried running in their life but it may be the beginning of a sporting career because running is the basis of all sports.” To ensure Go Run For Fun’s long-term future, INEOS is working with Nova International, which hosts the iconic Great Runs across the UK. The ultimate aim for Go Run For Fun is for it to become the biggest kids’ running initiative in the world. “The aim is to attract 100,000 children by 2016 and we are well on target. If we can get additional support for what is already a successful campaign then there is no reason why we cannot increase this many times over,” said Leen. Brendan Foster, a former British Olympic long-distance runner who founded the BUPA Great North Run, said he had no doubt INEOS would reach its goal. In June, the first Go Run For Fun events will be held across the Channel near INEOS’ sites in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. “The circus is coming to town,” said Leen, the Chief Financial officer at Olefins & Polymers Europe (North). INEOS is also extending an open invitation to its other sites around the world, including Norway, France, Italy and America, to get in touch with Go Run For Fun Project Manager Ursula Heath at For the latest information on Go Run For Fun, visit the website at:

    10 minutes read Issue 6
  • Debate: Is entrepreneurship contagious?

    It’s an age-old question. Are entrepreneurs wired in a different way to the rest of us? Or can we all be taught to think differently? In other words, is entrepreneurship contagious? The debate about whether entrepreneurs are born or made is a hot one. Entrepreneurship is most definitely in vogue – with swathes of people wanting to be an entrepreneur, to be involved in entrepreneurial initiatives or to partner with an entrepreneur. Never before has the word had such kudos. Whether it’s nature or nurture – and a lot of entrepreneurship comes from a natural innate drive that can’t easily be taught – once you’ve had a taste of it, and even small success, there’s no looking back. I’ve definitely caught the entrepreneurial ‘bug’, and undoubtedly those creative start-ups, which are trying to change the world and solve issues, are great for communities and the economy.Michelle Wright, Chief Executive for Cause 4 This human propensity for imitative behaviour has been seen and studied repeatedly, from childhood development, to learning languages, to product and service purchases, to the decision in a crowd to check e-mail on one’s phone. In all of these cases, humans are heavily influenced by what they observe (literally or virtually) others doing. We recently carried out a survey to establish whether entrepreneurship was contagious and discovered that an individual who had been exposed to entrepreneurs — and to growth entrepreneurs in particular — was more likely to become one. The implication? Entrepreneurship can be viral, but must be introduced early and often in environments where it is least often seen. In particular, growth entrepreneurship is a narrow phenomenon, one that requires much more effort to introduce it to susceptive populations and drive overall economic growth.Paul Kedrosky, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri Entrepreneurship is absolutely contagious. Once you are surrounded by motivating and innovative entrepreneurs, and get the taste for life outside of big corporate America jobs, where your efforts can have a direct impact on the company’s success and see the real-time fruits of your labour, there is no turning back. That is why many universities are scrambling to launch Masters of Entrepreneurship programmes, as the appeal of MBAs are starting to lose their luster for the next generation of workers. George Deeb, managing partner of Chicago-based Red Rocket Ventures Is entrepreneurship contagious? Think about it, and consider this: Obesity is contagious, so is quitting smoking, and so is divorce. So why not entrepreneurship? Think of how people infect (or so it seems) each other with ideas, fashion, eating habits, and customs. Doing something, even something hard, is easier to do when it feels like a lot of other people are doing it. And isn’t entrepreneurship a combination of ideas, fashion, customs, and like that? So if I start a business and make it, aren’t my friends more likely to do the same? They have a changed risk perception.Tim Berry, American founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software, Eugene, Oregon Entrepreneurship has nothing to do with genes. It has everything to do with the political, economic, educational and social environment people find themselves in. And that’s why it’s contagious. All the economic evidence today points to one simple truth: the entrepreneurial spirit is the best tool ever invented for creating growth and prosperity for individuals, companies and entire countries. Companies that gave us the pin-striped ‘organisation man’ are today promoting a culture of ‘corporate entrepreneurship’ as the best way to compete and survive in the global economy. And government leaders of all political stripes have also discovered that developing a more entrepreneurial economy is the best way to create jobs and achieve sustainable economic development. Entrepreneurship has become a global phenomenon because it works better for more people, for more companies and for more countries than any other business or economic model around. Of course, none of this could be happening if the age-old myth ‘entrepreneurs are born not made’, were true. In fact it’s never been true. The reality today is that millions of new businesses are being started each year by all kinds of people from all walks of life. Entrepreneurship happens because of circumstances – a circumstance of opportunity like coming up with a great product/ service idea – or a circumstance of necessity like being poor, or full of frustration, or getting fired. Ninety-nine per cent of the 3,000 entrepreneurs I’ve met and researched are indeed, ordinary people who simply found themselves in extraordinary situations. Larry C. Farrell, founder and chairman of The Farrell Company, a worldwide organisation that researches and teaches entrepreneurship to university students, corporations and governments. When an entrepreneurial spirit permeates every corner of an organisation, the entrepreneur lurking in each of us awakens. Think about what characterizes successful entrepreneurs. They have tremendous belief in their abilities and in their vision for their business. Now, imagine that every person in that organisation shares that same belief. How powerful would that be? Anyone who has worked in a business that embraces the entrepreneurial spirit knows how exhilarating it is. You can feel a buzz in the air. The action on the shop floor and in the hallways is so intense that coming out of your office is like merging into rush¬-hour traffic. Decisions are made on the fly without the need for formal meetings or approvals. The esprit de corps is palpable. The whole team pitches in to do what it takes to succeed. Martin O’Neill, author of The Power of an Internal Franchise: How Your Business Will Prosper When Your Employees Act Like Owners

    7 minutes read Issue 6
  • Colder and bolder

    It’s not everybody’s idea of heaven but some, like doug Stoup, will always be drawn to places where no man has ever dared to set foot. No man has ever set foot on the highest section of the East Antarctic Plateau. Scientists say this 620-mile, frozen mountain ridge, where temperatures can plummet below - 92°C (- 133.6 °F), is an inhospitable place where nothing really thrives or survives. It’s so cold that a human’s eyes, nose and lungs could freeze within minutes. “It is sort of otherworldly up there and it is what, I imagine, being on another planet is like,” says Ted Scambos, lead scientist from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. “It is extremely difficult to breathe. In fact, breathing can be painful. Nasal passages can feel a burning sensation and inhaling too quickly can nip parts of the throat and lungs.” Polar explorer Doug Stoup knows more than most about hostile places, having explored the Antarctic more times than any other man alive. “The Antarctic is my office,” he said as he spoke to INCH magazine while skiing in the backcountry of Lake Tahoe, California. “It is an inhospitable place but I don’t have a death wish. I want to come back safe.” At 49, he’s considered something of a veteran, having travelled, climbed, skied and snowboarded in some of the remotest places on the planet. So would he be tempted to climb this remote ice plateau which, in December, scientists revealed was home to the coldest place on Earth? “Absolutely,” he said. “I have already been to so many places where no other human being has been, so the answer is ‘Yes. For sure. I love pushing myself to the limit and I have so many goals and dreams.” At a mind-numbing - 93.2 °C (- 136 °F), it is almost twice as cold as the coldest place Doug has ever been. And he knows what that is like. “You cannot stop,” he said. “It’s bitterly cold. You have to keep moving. When you are standing still, you burn calories just generating heat to stay alive. If you leave any skin exposed, frostbite sets in instantly.” Scientists discovered the coldest spot on Earth as they analysed data from satellites that have been orbiting the planet for 32 years. The latest satellite, Landsat 8, was launched in February last year and has been taking about 550 pictures of the Earth from 438 miles (705km) every day. “What we’ve got orbiting Earth right now is a very accurate and consistent sensor that can tell us all kinds of things about how the land surface of Earth is changing, how climate change is impacting on the surface of Earth, the Earth’s oceans and the icy areas, ” said Ted. “Finding the coldest place on Earth is just the beginning.” Doug would agree with that. “If you are mentally and physically prepared and have the right equipment, I believe anything is possible,” he said. Doug has been guiding teams across the frozen Arctic Ocean to the North Pole and to the South Pole in Antarctica for more than 10 years. “The journey to the North Pole is the hardest journey in the world,” he said. “As the ice moves, it opens up, and when you are sleeping in your tent, you can feel and hear the ice creaking, breaking up and moving beneath you. Sometimes it sounds like a whistle. Other times like a train. And, then of course, there’s always the danger of encountering polar bears.” Being mentally and physically prepared for what lies ahead is critical but, that alone, is not enough. Without the right clothing, many expeditions would fail. “The chemical industry has played a huge part in helping to create the stuff that keeps people, like me, alive,” he said. “It makes performance fabrics and clothing possible, to help me to stay warm and dry in some pretty inhospitable places, when I’m not active, whilst at the same time helping control perspiration when I’m on the move.” Doug, who has helped to design some of the high performance clothing for polar explorers, will soon be drawing on his experiences to help NASA in their quest to put a man on Mars. He is due to travel to Devon Island in Canada, which is home to the largest uninhabited, desert island on Earth. It is cold, dry, desolate and home to a 15-mile wide impact crater that is 23 million years old. All of that means it is a very good environment for scientists studying what it would take to conduct a manned mission on Mars. Experts are predicting that NASA could put a team of astronauts on Mars by the 2030s. Like Earth, Mars has polar ice caps, seasons, volcanoes, canyons and deserts. But with temperatures falling to - 128 °C (- 198 °F ) at night, it a good degree colder. “Mars is no place for the faint-hearted,” said a spokesman for the space agency. That’s a word no one would ever use to describe Doug, who, in 2008, almost lost his life trying to cross a crevasse field during a 47-day, 738-mile trek to the South Pole via a route first attempted by polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. Was he worried? ‘No,’ he says. Has he ever been scared? “Yes,” he says. “I caught a cab once from Heathrow into the city of London. That was crazy.”

    8 minutes read Issue 6
  • Changing the face of society

    If you had to name the greatest entrepreneur in the history of mankind, who would you chose? the man who created the iPhone, the ‘difficult’ pupil who went on to invent the electric light bulb or the woman who believed every woman could be beautiful. It’s an easy question but it’s not an easy one to answer, as INCH discovered.   APPLE Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011) was the co-founder of Apple. He and school friend Steve Wozniak sold their first Apple computer in 1976. He later left Apple amid disputes in 1985 but returned in 1996 and became its CEO in 1997. He went on to tackle Apple’s poor profitability and oversaw the development of the iPod, the iPhone and iPad. His greatest gift, said many, was his ability to second guess the market and design an innovative product that everyone wanted. AMAZON Jeff Bezos (1964 -) left a well-paid job with a New York City hedge fund to set up e-commerce site Amazon in his garage in 1994. Initially the site sold only books but he wasn’t content with being a bookseller. He wanted more for Amazon. He went on to make online shopping so easy that today customers can find and buy almost everything they want at the touch of a button. It is now the largest retailer on the Internet. FACEBOOK Mark Zuckerberg (1984 –) started writing computer programmes at school. Several companies – including AOL and Microsoft – expressed an interest in hiring him before he graduated from Harvard University. He turned them down and went on to create Facebook. Today his social networking site has more than one billion users and market capitalisation of more than $150 billion. STEEL INDUSTRY Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) is best known for his gifts of free public library buildings but he was also an industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. When he sold his company to JP Morgan in 1901, it was valued at more than $400 million. He was driven by a desire to help others. When he died in 1919, he had given away about $350 million of his fortune. He once wrote: ‘The who dies thus rich, dies disgraced.’ AIRCRAFT The first airplane was invented by Wilbur Wright (1867 – 1912) and his brother Orville (1871 – 1948). After spending a great deal of time watching birds in flight, they finally showed the world that man could fly when they flew their plane for 12 seconds for a distance of 120 feet on December 17, 1903, astounding everyone.  IKEA Swedish-born Ingvar Kamprad (1926 -) started selling matches, which he bought in bulk from Stockholm, to his neighbours when he was 14. Amazed that he could buy a product and resell it for a profit fuelled his ambitions. He went on to sell fish, Christmas decorations, pens, pencils and seeds. At 17 he named his new venture IKEA and added further goods. By 21 he was also selling furniture and by 27 – in 1953 – he opened his first IKEA showroom. Today IKEA has stores in 25 countries with annual sales of more than 21 billion Euros. THE CAR Henry Ford (1863-1947) brought the car to the masses. His Model T was everything he thought a car should be – reasonably priced and reliable – but only a few could be made in a day which wasn’t enough to satisfy demand. In the end he opened a large factory with an assembly line and went on to become the biggest car manufacturer in the world with a car that was simple to drive and cheap to repair.  COSMETICS Estée Lauder (1906 – 2004) was the daughter of a Hungarian immigrant. She founded her cosmetics company in 1946 armed with just four products and an unshakeable belief: that every woman can be beautiful. She began by selling skin care products to beauty salons and hotels, and believed that to make a sale, you needed to touch the customer. ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it,’ she often reminded her sales team. Today her cosmetics are one of the leading brands in the world.  JEANS Levi Strauss (1829–1902) was born in Germany, but moved America in 1847 to work for his brothers. Six years later he started his own company, importing clothing, underwear, umbrellas and fabric which he sold to small stores all over the west coast of America. But it was customer, a tailor, who gave Levi the idea of making heavy-duty ‘waist overalls’, which we now know as jeans. Initially it is believed the jeans were made by individual seamstresses but by the 1880s, as jeans grew in popularity, he opened his own factory. The rest is history. THE PRINTING PRESS Johannes Gutenberg (1395 – 1468), a German goldsmith and businessman, invented a printing press with replaceable/ moveable wooden or metal letters in 1436. His invention, for which he needed to borrow money, is credited for revolutionising the production of books. THE COMPASS The Chinese invented the first compass during the Han Dynasty. It was made of lodestone, a naturally magnetized iron ore. The compass enabled mariners to navigate safely far from land, increasing sea trade and contributing to the Age of Discovery.  EXPLORER Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521) organised the expedition that resulted in the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He assembled a fleet of five ships and despite huge setbacks, including the master of one of the ships sailing back home and Magellan’s own death (he was killed during the Battle of Mactan), he proved the world was round. THE LIGHT BULB Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) was the youngest of seven children. His mother decided to teach him at home after his teacher described him as difficult. He didn’t learn to talk until he was four after which he never stopped asking ‘why?’ At 12 he started selling newspapers and later published his own small newspaper. During his lifetime he filed more than 1,000 patents, including the electric light bulb, the first practical dictaphone, the phonograph and the storage battery. He obtained his last patent at 83. To many he will always be the greatest inventor who ever lived.  GOOGLE Larry Page (1973 -) and Sergey Brin (1973 -) met at Stanford University in 1995. Larry was considering the school; Sergey was assigned to show him around. Two years later the two students co-founded Google, which went on to become one of the fastest growing businesses of all time. Today Google is the most popular search engine. Their philosophy is simple: Great just isn’t good enough. ANIMATED FILMS Walt Disney, creator of such magical figures as Mickey Mouse and Snow White, pioneered the fields of animation. During his 43-year career in Hollywood, he became known for taking the dreams of America and making them come true. His drive to perfect the art of animation was endless. When Technicolor was introduced to animation, he held the patent for two years, which meant he was the only person to make colour cartoons. THE INTERNET Computer scientist Sir Timothy Berners-Lee (1955 -) invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. The proposal was meant for a more effective CERN communication system but he realised the concept could be implemented throughout the world. The first website was built at CERN and finally went online on August 6, 1991. TATA GROUP J R D Tata (1904 – 1993) became India’s first licensed pilot in 1929 and went on to found India’s first commercial airline, Tata Airlines, in 1932, which later became Air India. He joined his uncle’s company, Tata & Sons, as an unpaid apprentice in 1925. In 1938 – at the age of 34 – he was elected chairman. Under his chairmanship the group’s assets grew from $100 million US dollars to $5 billion US dollars. He started with 14 enterprises and, when he retired, there were 95 enterprises in the Tata Group. CHINA YOUTHOLOGY Zafka Zhang co-founded market research company China Youthology in 2008. He believes today’s generation in China has the power to change society. Companies such as Audi, Nokia, L’Oreal, and Daimler have all used his online business to tap into China’s youth culture and understand how to market their own brands better. MICROSOFT Bill Gates (1955 -) began programming computers at 13. He dropped out of Harvard to devote his energy to Microsoft, driven by the belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home. He began developing software for personal computers and led the personal computer revolution. Having already given away $28bn to his Foundation, Bill Gates now intends to eradicate polio, with the same drive he brought to Microsoft.  MOBILE PHONE Martin Cooper (1928 -) came up with the concept of the hand-held mobile phone while working at Motorola in 1973. The prototype, which weighed two kilos, is believed to have cost Motorola about $1 million in today’s money. The battery last 20 minutes but it didn’t matter because you couldn’t hold the phone for that long.  THE TELEPHONE Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922) was the first to be awarded a patent for the electric telephone in 1876. He improved on the design and by 1886 more than 150,000 people owned telephones in the United States. He later said: ‘The day will come when the man at the telephone will be able to see the distant person to whom he is speaking.’  FEDEX Fred Smith (1944 -) took money left to him by his late father and founded Federal Express, a global overnight delivery service that a professor had warned him was unworkable. His company, now known as FedEx, is now believed to be the largest transportation business in the world, processing more than eight billion pieces of freight every day, and operating in at least 220 countries. PAPAYAMOBILE Si Shen was inspired after reading The Road Ahead by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He wanted to change the world; so did she. After working for Google for several years, she left and returned to Beijing where she and a friend launched Papaya in 2008. Today she turns mobile phones into social networks. The software lets people share pictures, send messages and play games with others and it is believed to have more than 35 million users.  VIRGIN GROUP Sir Richard Branson (1950 -) dropped out of school at 16 and started out by selling records to his friends at the lowest price possible in 1970. He later opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London, and built a recording studio, signing artists such as The Rolling Stones. Today Virgin Group, which he founded, comprises of more than 400 companies. STARBUCKS It all started with a cup of coffee. Howard Schultz (1953 -) was so inspired after speaking to the staff at Starbucks in Seattle in 1981 that he joined the company as director of marketing the following year. At the time Starbucks had only four stores. In 1983, during a trip to Italy, he had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition to America. He left Starbucks for a while, hoping to strike out on his own, but returned in 1987 and bought the company. Today Starbucks has more than 17,000 stores in 60 countries.

    12 minutes read Issue 6
  • How journalists helped to put INEOS on the map

    In 2011, when the first edition of INCH was published, research had shown that the INEOS brand was not as strong as it ought to be, given the sheer scale of the company, but that it clearly needed to be if it were to attract the very best students and potential investors and influence politicians and the media. The magazine has – hopefully – helped to address these issues, but recently INEOS’ profile has been raised in a way not even chairman Jim Ratcliffe could have predicted. INEOS can no longer describe itself as the biggest company that you have never heard of. Ever since the events at Grangemouth in Scotland, at the end of last year, views of the company along with those of its founder and chairman Jim Ratcliffe have been in demand. Newspapers from around the world have been keen to include articles on the company and its Executives. Sylvia Pfeifer, a journalist on the Financial Times, said until a few months ago, INEOS had been little known outside industry circles. “If the Grangemouth issue generated unwanted headlines, it has also lured INEOS out of the shadows,” she said. But Journalists have not only been interested in INEOS’ success story. It has also been asked to comment on such things as the state of manufacturing in Britain, the impact of the shale gas boom in the US, the crippling cost of energy in Europe and the huge opportunities for growth in China. Business editor Alistair Osborne wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “Jim Ratcliffe may not be a household name but it’s hard to find another British industrialist who, in 15 whirlwind years, has built a business from scratch into a global $43bn (£27.5bn) sales machine.  Ratcliffe is hardly a man short of experience. So when he says that Britain ‘frankly has not been a very attractive place to manufacture’, or that the UK should stop ‘faffing about’ with shale gas and nuclear power, then his views command respect.” During an interview with Brian Carney, one of the editors on The Wall Street Journal, Jim was asked what the US could do to make life even better for industry in America. “Cut corporation tax,” he said. “It’s my only gripe. If you brought it down to about 30%, the US would be unbeatable.” During an interview with Stanley Reed from the New York Times, Jim talked about why he was not prepared to see profitable sites in the US subsidising those losing money in Europe. Bernd Freytag spoke to INEOS for an article he was writing for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In it, he described the company as a pioneer for its decision to import low-cost shale-derived ethane gas to bring down the operating costs of INEOS’ European crackers. Referring to Jim, Bernd said: “His picture of Europe for the petrochemical industry is rather grim, and he forecasts hard times. He doesn’t share the view of some experts that the US shale gas boom will soon be over. He’s alone in thinking that but he thinks that is nonsense.” A similar story appeared in Le Monde. “Europe is not a good place for business right now and it’s getting worse,” Le Monde’s London correspondent Eric Albert wrote in his first-ever interview with the company. “I do not think people understand the challenges facing them.” Interviews also appeared in newspapers in Norway and China, written by Cecily Liu, a reporter on The China Daily, reporting on the huge petrochemicals market and steady demand that are propelling China’s growth. “I only knew about INEOS because of its joint venture with PetroChina but I knew very little about Jim,” she told INCH. “After Grangemouth he became more outspoken in the media. He clearly knows how to make the most of his talents and is more willing than most people to take risks.” But one of the challenges that INEOS once faced, now no longer exists. “INEOS had grown so rapidly that the perception people had of us hadn’t kept pace,” said Tom Crotty, Group Director for Corporate Affairs. “Even some customers were saying they thought we were a bit reticent, considering our size, in putting forward our views on the market. We also had some feedback from investors and the media that we needed to open up a bit.” Today no one can level that criticism at INEOS anymore.

    3 minutes read Issue 6
  • INEOS sues over alleged misuse of patents

    INEOS is suing state-owned Chinese oil and petrochemical company Sinopec and some of its associated businesses for allegedly violating patents. INEOS said Sinopec Ningbo Engineering Company had broken a long established technology agreement which, together with alleged misuse of trade secrets by other Sinopec companies, had enabled it to build a series of acrylonitrile plants in China without INEOS’ consent. “We want to take our best technology to China but we need to know that it will be protected,” said INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “The prolific building of acrylonitrile plants in China will destroy our business.” INEOS, which has otherwise excellent relationships with Sinopec and with China, said in a statement on March 21 that it had no choice other than to protect its intellectual property. “Unless we protect our hard-won intellectual property, which includes trade secrets and patents, covering technology, design and operations, ultimately we will see the demise of INEOS,” said Jim. INEOS fears China’s actions will cause major harm to its acrylonitrile business which generates up to $500million in profit every year and supports about 5,000 jobs in America, the UK and Germany. INEOS currently leads the global market for the production of acrylonitrile, the key building block for carbon fibre. The important molecule is also the key ingredient in ABS polymer, which is used in many everyday applications from children’s toys and computer monitors to white goods. INEOS’ acrylonitrile technology provides the basis for over 90% of the world’s production. SNEC, a Sinopec company, has had a licence to use that technology since 1984. INEOS, which is pursuing parallel actions in the Beijing High Court and through arbitration in Sweden, said it had ‘every confidence’ in China’s intellectual property system because it now files more patents than any other country. Sinopec denies INEOS’ claims.

    2 minutes read Issue 6
  • INEOS responds to customer demand

    INEOS Oxide has expanded its ethylidene norbornene (ENB) plant in Antwerp, Belgium, to satisfy demand from customers. The plant will now be capable of producing 28,000 tons a year – 20% more than before – and, as such, becomes the largest, single ENB plant in the world. ENB is mostly used to make ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM), an extremely weather-proof, durable, synthetic rubber that is increasingly favoured by car manufacturers and the construction industry. “Debottlenecking the Antwerp plant is a unique step by INEOS that will provide sufficient ENB for the next two to three years,” said CEO Hans Casier. ENB is also used by the perfume industry as a scent carrier

    1 minute read Issue 6
  • INEOS slices further €30 million off its interest bill

    Entrepreneurial thinking has saved INEOS a further €30 million a year in interest payments, when the company refinanced some of its borrowing in February. Video The latest decision to take advantage of favourable financial markets followed last year’s refinancing when INEOS secured a significant interest rate reduction, which cut payments by $140 million a year. “If we combine the latest improvement with those of the last 18 months we have reduced the overall interest charge from €550 million to €385 million,” said Graeme Leask, CFO of INEOS Group Holdings. INEOS was able to drive down the interest rate on its borrowing because of strong demand from investors seeking to participate in INEOS’ success. “The reaction from the investors in February was extremely positive,” said Graeme. “Demand for the new bond was seven times oversubscribed.” INEOS had been paying just under 8% on its bonds. It had hoped to pay just over 6% on the new bond. What it achieved was just under 6%. It also managed to secure a further interest rate reduction on its bank loan. “We could choose to use these savings to repay debt but our investors know that we have many good opportunities across our businesses to earn money with this investment. So it is better for INEOS and its investors to put this money to work in our businesses than pay down the borrowing,” said Peter Clarkson, head of investor relations at INEOS. Financial advisors described the latest deal, as a ‘blowout’, said Graeme. INEOS attributed its success to the communications it has with its investors to highlight the ongoing performance of the company. “We are very open with our investors and they value that transparency,” said Peter. “Every week, which is unusual in the world they invest in, we write a market update for all investors and analysts with a summary of what has been happening in all our major markets.” That culture of openness and honesty has also allowed INEOS to reduce the amount of time needed to renegotiate and secure better interest rates. A bond refinancing deal used to take up to three weeks. Now, because investors know us well, it can be done in a few days. INEOS did not need to refinance these high yield bonds until 2016 but saw an opportunity to take advantage of the good financial markets and moved quickly. “We don’t normally wait until we have reached the wire on these things because we want to give ourselves plenty of leeway,” said Peter. The latest deal also led to an improved credit rating from Moody’s which now matches Standard & Poor’s at B1/B+ “Credit rating agencies are inherently conservative and their default scenario is ‘the world’s going to end tomorrow; explain otherwise’, so to get an upgrade at this point in time is good news,” said Peter. There are also other added benefits, including the ability to negotiate more credit with suppliers which improves cash flow. Moody’s analyst Douglas Crawford said the upgrade partly reflected INEOS’ ‘resilient’ performance in 2013 and how well it expected the company to perform this year. INEOS AG Finance Director John Reece said overall the group had performed well in 2013 and that 2014 had got off to a good start. Most of INEOS’ profits, though, are coming from America, rising from about 60% in 2012 to almost 70% last year. “Shale is not the only reason we are doing well in the US but it has been transformational,” he said. INEOS is planning to invest heavily in the US over the coming year. “That investment is very much our number one priority,” said John. Plans in the pipeline include a polyethylene plant, an oligomers plant and possibly a new ethylene oxide plant. John said, “Europe, particularly southern Europe and the UK, are still challenging but our decision to import low-cost shale-derived ethane gas from America to Europe will help to reduce operating costs at our European gas crackers which will help us to remain competitive.” Looking ahead, the journey, which began in April 2012 when INEOS secured the largest-ever covenant-lite loan for a European company and the largest globally since the credit crunch, will continue. “It is part of our strategy,” said Graeme. “We are opportunistic so if there is an opportunity in the market to reduce our interest rates or extend our fi nancing, then we are always ready to do that.”

    11 minutes read Issue 6
  • INEOS signs second deal to ship more ethane to Europe – and orders more ships

    INEOS has signed another deal to import more competitively-priced shale-derived ethane from the US to help reduce the operating costs of its European gas crackers. INEOS Europe AG will begin accepting shipments from CONSOL Energy in Pittsburgh from next year. “This will allow us to continue to consolidate the competitiveness of INEOS’ ethylene production in Europe,” said David Thompson, Procurement and Supply Chain Director. Two years ago INEOS became the first petrochemical company in Europe to seize the opportunity to import cheaper energy and feedstocks from Range Resources in the US. In December 2012 it finalised 15-year contracts with three US companies which would be responsible for the drilling, distributing, liquefying and shipping of ethane from America to INEOS’ Rafnes plant in Norway. On May 7 this year INEOS announced that it had reached an agreement with Evergas to increase the number of shipping vessels to six. Those ships are currently being built in China and will transport the ethane to both the Rafnes site and INEOS’ Grangemouth plant in Scotland. The ships are the largest, most flexible and advanced multi-gas carriers yet to be built. They will provide INEOS with a flexible solution for their ethane supplies with the option of transporting LNG, LPG as well as petrochemical gases including ethylene. “The advanced design of these vessels offers very high efficiency and unparalleled flexibility to INEOS securing the longevity and strong position of their business” said Martin Ackermann, CEO of EVERGAS. The dual-fuelled vessels will use clean LNG in state-of-the-art engines securing high efficiency, low emissions and reduced fuel cost.

    2 minutes read Issue 6
  • INEOS Technologies moves fast to win business in Vietnam

    A company in Vietnam has licensed INEOS Technology to manufacture polypropylene, a plastic polymer that is used in everything from fridges to carpets to car parts. Vung Ro Petroleum Limited said INEOS’ Innovene PP process would give it the edge over its competitors and help it to satisfy the growing demand in the Asian market. “The economies of Asia are growing and with that growth is a need for plastic products for infrastructure, packaging, household goods, appliances and consumer products,” said Randy Wu, Vice-President, PE/ PP Marketing and Sales at INEOS Technologies. “In the past most of those products were destined for the export market.” Vung Ro Petroleum Limited first approached INEOS Technologies in mid-2012. Within a year, the company had signed a deal with INEOS. “That’s relatively fast for a polyolefins licensing project, many of which take years to consummate,” said Randy. “But it shows that we have done such a good job developing our relationships with clients, consultants and contractors that our reputation as a leading provider of technology is widely known in the industry.” The refinery will be based in the Dong Hoa District of Phu Yen Province. “INEOS’ Innovene PP process will be an integral part of our refinery project and provide us with an advanced polypropylene process with advantaged economics and broad product reach,” said Kirill Korolev, CEO of Vung Ro Petroleum Limited.

    2 minutes read Issue 6
  • Business gets taste for new adventure

    Baleycourt is one of the 12 businesses that come under INEOS Enterprises’ umbrella. It is a small site, about the size of 20 football pitches, but its contribution to INEOS’ success should not be underestimated. video INEOS Enterprises will be fielding another new product this year – food grade rapeseed oil. It will be the first time that INEOS has ever ventured into the food ingredients market, but by the end of 2014 it will be producing 15,000 tons of rapeseed oil at its site at Baleycourt, France. Only time will tell whether it will be a wise investment but Ashley Reed, Chief Executive Officer of INEOS Enterprises, and Chief Operating Officer Steve Dossett, who manages the business, are confident. “It is a new departure for us but rapeseed oil is becoming increasingly popular, mainly for its healthy properties and price advantage versus olive oil,” said Ashley. Production of rapeseed oil, which is a rich source of vitamin E and contains half the saturated fat of olive oil, will also help to ensure that the site – in the heart of France’s second largest vegetable oil producing region – remains competitive. For years Baleycourt had been producing tons of biodiesel for French supermarkets and oil companies like Total. In 2008 INEOS Enterprises further strengthened Baleycourt’s position when it set up an €80 million joint venture – known as INEOS Champlor – with French farming co-operative SICLAE and oil seed crushing group C.Thywissen, which led to the opening of a second biodiesel unit and rapeseed crusher and oil refining plant. “The investment was principally driven by the French government which was promoting significant levels of biofuel blending ahead of EU legislation,” said Ashley. “Each of the fuel markets (diesel and gasoline) had individual incorporation targets with severe financial penalties for the blender if they failed meet the obligation. That meant we should have had a guaranteed market.” It also meant INEOS could crush locally-grown rapeseed itself instead of buying it as rape oil from Germany, where previously it had been transported for crushing. The investment made financial sense and the partnership worked beautifully. INEOS bought in the rapeseed at a competitive price and crushed it, making thousands of tons of renewable fuel for a market that wanted it. As a bonus, the by-product was rapeseed meal, which was used as a GM-free protein animal feed for pigs. At its peak Baleycourt was producing 140,000 tons of biofuel and 180,000 tons of rapemeal every year. But then the wind started to change. In 2010 the EU introduced ‘double count’ legislation which encouraged fuel producers to blend waste feedstocks such as used cooking oil and tallow. By 2011 – with no cap on the product – the international oil trading hub, ARA, began saturating the French market with this form of fuel, materially impacting on demand for ‘single count’ rape oil derived product. Baleycourt production volumes slumped. Eventually imports into France were limited. The domestic producers did regain market share but it had altered the market dynamics significantly and French government incentives were also about to dwindle. The following year the EU Commission made a significant about turn on biofuels with a proposal to limit the quantity of biofuels made from crops to 5%. Then last year further EU legislation was imposed. In short, the EU had lost its appetite for crop-based biofuels. “There is still much debate within the EU institutions, including what is a crop, so it is not clear exactly how this will play out over the next few years,” said Ashley. “But it is highly unlikely there will be much, if any, growth in the current EU average blending levels of biodiesel made from crops.” INEOS decided it was time to take back control. To become the master of its own destiny. At the end of last year it negotiated down the JV’s uneconomic debt with the banks, bought out its JV partners, agreed a five-year, improved deal with farmers for their rapeseed and restructured the Baleycourt business. “We had been thinking about using the extra capacity to produce rapeseed oil instead of biofuels for a while but we needed the agreement of all parties,” said Steve. “The JV could not service its debts to its lenders and had been heading towards bankruptcy since the end of 2010. Failing was an option but now INEOS has a future in the oilseeds and biodiesel world, whilst still retaining the strategic supply for local seed from the French co-operatives. This new project is a toe in the water. We know there is already a very large oil market but we are confident.” The seeds of that new venture are now being sewn in the fields that surround the 25-hectare site near Verdun. But Baleycourt, which employs 150 people and turns over 250 million Euros every year, is not just about biofuels. This small French site has also been producing high quality plasticisers from alcohols and acids for more than 40 years. And business is booming thanks to the development of INEOS’ phthalates-free CEREPLAS™ Esters which are now used to make PVC cling film and food bags, car dashboards, vinyl flooring, and tubes and bags for the medical industry. Over the past five years three new grades – terephthalates, trimellitates and sebacates – have been launched on the market leading to more than 20% increase in sales volume. “This growth has been driven by matching market demand and being proactive on customers’ trends,” said Steve. Phthalates help to soften and make plastic more flexible and harder to break, but their use come under increasing scrutiny due to concerns about potential health risks. “What INEOS did – in the face of those concerns – was develop an alternative, phthalate-free ester which does the same thing,” said Steve. “Some of our competitors do still make phthalates as well as non phthalate products but we made the decision – and it was important to us – to make the site 100% phthalate free. Even though that limited our sales opportunities, it meant we could promise our customers that we would not, even by accident, supply them products containing phthalates.” Baleycourt, which sees more than 700 000 tons of various products transported in and out of the site each year, also produces esters for the lubricants market. “The future of the esters business will be to continue to grow significantly by providing tailor-made, smart solutions,” said Ashley. That will be done by keeping a close, watchful eye on the ever-changing market and coming up with innovative products to meet INEOS’ customers’ needs. “INEOS Enterprises is now recognised as a key supplier of esters in Europe which is a significant achievement, when you consider that esters’ customers are historically reluctant to change because of the lengthy approval processes imposed on them by their downstream customers,” said Ashley.

    20 minutes read Issue 6
  • Safely on track

    Safety is paramount at INEOS. But it has to be, because it operates in a hazardous environment. The year may have changed, but INEOS’ approach to personal and process safety won’t. If anything, it will become even more important and robust, as Stephen Yee explains. Safety doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes a lot of hard work, and needs everyone – employees, employers and contractors – to understand what’s at stake when a company like INEOS gets it wrong. “Our commitment to safety starts at the top as a core value of our company,” said Stephen Yee, Business Safety Health and Environment Manager based at INEOS ChlorVinyls in Runcorn, UK. “We all know that the sustainable long-term future of our businesses rests on our track record on safety, health and the environment.” Last year was a good year for INEOS despite its decision to switch to OSHA, (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) a stricter, US-based system of recording workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses so that others could judge its performance against the very best. “We can now see that INEOS compares well against the likes of Shell and Dow Chemical,” said Stephen, who collates the Group’s safety reports. “But the data also shows that lower injury rates are achievable. Based on our own analysis, if we look back five years, we are approximately 50% better than we were in 2008. And in 2013 there were 70 fewer injuries reported.” Last year was a particularly good year for INEOS O&P Europe North, which won the INEOS SHE award for the second time for its safety performance and for setting a good standard in process safety management. Hans Niederberger, chief operations officer, said clear communication was one of the reasons for the business’ success last year, with SHE line managers tasked with the vital job of keeping everyone informed of what was expected. “In addition every single site has its own score card regarding SHE improvements during the year and those cards are reviewed every month,” he said. INEOS O&P Europe North reported four injuries during 2013. “That led to a frequency of 0.12 injuries per every 200,000 hours worked,” he said. “A world-class frequency is deemed to be 0.20 to 0.25.” Stephen said INEOS would be looking to the best sites to help the worst-performing sites in terms of safety. “We can – and will – learn from how the best sites approach safety to improve the performance of all businesses,” he said. At INEOS in Köln, a hard-hitting poster campaign, ‘Accidents cast long shadows’, was launched to encourage all staff to think of the potential consequences of their actions at work. Juergen Schmitz, head of the occupational safety and health department whose job is also to deliver key messages about safety to almost 2,000 employees and 1,000 contractors on site, said the campaign had been well received but it was difficult to establish a link between that and the fact that the site’s safety record had improved. “Many occupational safety-related components will have contributed to that improvement,” he said. In addition to the campaign, he said, all trainees and managerial staff – from the shift managers to the Managing Director – had attended a mandatory training safety programme in 2013. Looking back over a successful year, Stephen said there were some ‘outstanding milestones’. No one, he said, had been injured at the INEOS ChlorVinyls plant in Sweden since December 30, 2010. “To go 1,000 days without a recordable injury is something of which the plant should be very proud,” he said. Helen Axelsson, who is in charge of safety, health, environment and quality assurance, attributed the plant’s impressive safety record to 10 years of focusing on employees’ behaviour. “We have an open safety climate, where everyone could tell anyone if they think someone is working in an unsafe manner,” she said. “The last three to four years we have used the expression: ‘We always have time to work in a safe manner’ and I really think that everyone, both employees and contractors, feel that it is true.” Last year each INEOS business also implemented – despite a challenging timescale set by themselves – the 20 key safety principles devised by INEOS’ process safety management team and based on actual incidents or ‘near misses’. “We not only implemented them but each business has been independently audited,” said Stephen. “The lead auditors were site and production management from other sites which encourages sites to share best practice.” He said, though, that people should not worry unduly about statistics. “Our focus is simple,” he said. “It’s one step at a time and to focus on what we can all do to prevent injuries to those who work on our sites. The good results will follow.” But, as with most things, there is always room for improvement. “I do find it frustrating that there are still injuries which happen that can be prevented if people stop and think before they act,” he said. As a group, INEOS also wants each business to further improve its safety record by 10%. “They are challenging SHE controls,” said Stephen. “But they are achievable.”

    10 minutes read Issue 6
  • INEOS refines its goals

    With Europe now one of the most expensive places in the world to make chemicals, energy-intensive companies like INEOS need to think creatively if they are to stay in business. At the French site in Lavéra, changes are afoot.  Marseille is the oldest – and second largest – city in France. It enjoys miles of sandy beaches and is peppered with picturesque buildings. As such, you wouldn’t expect it to have anything in common with a neighbouring crude oil refinery, which produces thousands of tons of gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and heating oil every day. But it does. For INEOS’ Lavéra petrochemicals site and Petroineos’ crude oil refinery – just 30 miles west of Marseille – use as much energy as the city itself. And therein lies the problem. “We have got to continually maximise our energy efficiency,” said Jean-Noël Large, who now has the job of improving the energy efficiency of the 81-year-old refinery. “It is one of INEOS’ top priorities, and not just in France. The high cost of energy is a problem for the whole of Europe. Our energy costs are now incredibly high compared to America and Asia. Compared to other similar-sized petrochemical companies and refineries on other continents, we are currently in a difficult position, and people on site generally understand the situation well.” In his role, Jean-Noël works closely with on-site technicians, manufacturing, process and maintenance engineers across the site, experts from INEOS Technologies and also external partners. “The INEOS Technologies modelling team has the ability to carry out simulations to explore ways to improve the efficiency of the site,” he said. The 650-hectare Lavéra site as a whole is one of the biggest petrochemical sites in Europe. It was owned by BP when Jean-Noël joined the company in 1989. INEOS acquired it when it bought BP’s Innovene business for $9 billion nine years ago, in December 2005. “When BP owned the site, the cost of energy in Europe was competitive,” he said. “But the price of energy in Europe has continued to rise whilst the shale gas boom has dramatically reduced the price of energy for our competitors in the US, creating a huge difference between these markets. Energy is now a top priority for us and it is up there with the reliability of the site.” Tom Crotty, INEOS Group Director, said spiralling energy costs in Europe meant it now cost INEOS’ Olefins & Polymers business in France twice as much as it did in America to produce a ton of ethylene. “If we want to be around in years to come to compete then it is incredibly important to cut our energy bills,” said Jean-Noël. He is currently working on many projects. Smaller ones, including a steam balance tool to analyse steam consumption across the refinery, have already been implemented, others are ongoing – and so far investments and careful monitoring have led to a 20% reduction in the number of steam leaks – and more are in the pipeline. This year he will also oversee a major change to one of the furnaces in the refinery. The crude oil distillation unit currently runs on a mixture of liquid and gas but, from May, it will run on gas only. “At the moment the combustion of liquid fuel generates deposits in the furnace that limit its global efficiency,” said Jean-Noël. By improving the efficiency of the unit, less fuel will be burned, money will be saved and air emissions will be reduced. Petroineos Manufacturing France is also investing in a €70 million project to two install new state-of-the-art steam boilers by mid-2015. Once in place, they too will improve the efficiency of the refinery, and lead to a further reduction in emissions. In 2002, 13,000 tons a year of sulphur dioxide were being emitted into the atmosphere from the site. By 2013 INEOS had cut that figure by 70% a year thanks to a series of improvements and investment. “With the changes we are going to make, we will be able to cut further these emissions by more than 90% by 2016,” said Jean-Noël. He said all the projects would have a huge impact on the efficiency of the refinery and help the site to regain its competitiveness. “We are looking at saving up to €25 million a year,” he said. Jean-Noël is excited by what lies ahead for Lavéra, and also the difference he can make. “I have been given the freedom to explore any path judged as potentially interesting, that helps our performance and reduces cost to the business,” he said. “My field of investigation covers any unit of the refinery and any source of energy improvement. And hopefully my experience and my knowledge of the site and of the people will help me to implement this action plan.”

    8 minutes read Issue 6
  • Experts explore options

    Radical thinking on INEOS’ part in 2009 will start to pay dividends next year when the first shipments of low-cost ethane from the US begin arriving at Rafnes in Norway to help reduce operating costs at INEOS’ gas crackers in Europe. But why stop there? That’s the question INEOS is now asking itself. INEOS hates waste. And that includes squandering opportunities to run its businesses more efficiently. Having already clinched game-changing, 15-year deals with two American companies to import low-cost, shale-derived ethane gas from the US to Europe to help reduce the operating costs at its European plants, INEOS is now looking to the UK. A new team, led by Gary Haywood, is now weighing up the pros and cons of pursuing shale gas exploration and production starting in the UK, currently one of the few countries in the EU to accept the importance of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’ – the process by which gas and liquids can be extracted from shale formations. Gary said the British Government’s support for shale gas exploration had been an important factor in INEOS’ decision to invest in its own project team, which was set up in February. “Without Government support, the development of shale gas production would be virtually impossible,” he said. The British Government has now created an Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil to promote the safe, responsible and environmentally-sound recovery of the UK’s shale gas and oil resources, and has promised tax incentives to encourage investment. “The Government has recognised that shale gas has the potential to provide the UK with greater energy security, growth and jobs, and help the UK’s chemical and energy-intensive UK manufacturing industry to succeed,” said Gary. There are currently 176 Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) for onshore oil and gas in the UK. More licences are due to be awarded this year. The US shale gas revolution has transformed America’s petrochemical industry. Gas prices in the US are now about a third to a half of those in Europe (and a quarter of Asian prices), and cracker feedstocks have also benefitted. Dennis Seith, CEO of Olefins & Polymers (USA), said the effect of reduced energy costs for American industry had been nothing short of phenomenal. US chemical companies are set to spend more than $70 billion before 2020 on new manufacturing facilities – fuelled by these cost advantages. The factors impacting gas prices in the UK are complex, and in some ways different to the US. It is unlikely that the impact of significant shale gas production on gas pricing will directly mirror the US situation, but there is no doubt that the development of this national resource will only improve the competitiveness of the UK gas market, as well as boost energy security, the balance of payments – and jobs. In January UK Prime Minister David Cameron, buoyed by what has happened in America, urged the European Union not to impose premature regulatory burdens on shale exploration because investors would look elsewhere. “Oil and gas will still be plentifully produced but Europe will be dry,” he told the World Economic Forum. Instead he urged the EU to embrace the opportunity. “I understand the concerns some people have,” he said. “We need the right regulations and governments need to reassure people that nothing would go ahead if environmental dangers were present. But if this is done properly, shale gas can actually have lower emissions than imported gas.” Gary’s team have already started work. The UK is estimated to contain vast and untapped reserves of shale gas. The question is whether the gas can be extracted economically. Part of the INEOS team brief is to study UK geology to identify the most prospective areas for economic production. Of course, economic production of shale gas will also require the right surface conditions, including available land, and the required infrastructure. The team has also been working with other chemical companies, energy-intensive users, and shale gas production companies to decide how best to communicate to a now sceptical public that shale gas can be extracted in a safe and environmentally-sound way. “The environment at the moment is difficult,” said Gary. “People are concerned but what we need to do is to get our message out to people, to balance those messages of concern, which can sometimes be emotional and not necessarily based on sound science or indeed knowledge of the facts.” INEOS has already adopted a strategy to help persuade the public about the very real need for shale gas exploration – by its involvement in discussions in Parliament, in the media and through INCH, and highlighting the benefits to its own employees in the hope they too will share the facts. “We need to keep driving home the message that the chemical and energy intensive industries in the UK need to be competitive, or they face a very bleak future,” said Gary. “At the moment Europe is seeing increasing competition from America and the Middle East where energy and feedstocks are very low cost. We need to explain that the development of our shale gas resource is one way that we can help here.” INEOS can use shale gas as a feedstock or energy source for its ethylene crackers but it also owns land, pipelines and storage in some of the key areas being explored in the UK. “All that, coupled with INEOS’ clear manufacturing excellence, strong safety focus and good relationships with the communities in which it operates, means that INEOS may bring something unique to this emerging industry,” said Gary. “So INEOS may ultimately opt to drill for shale gas itself.” INEOS has brought substantial external experience into the team to help with the evaluation of this exciting opportunity. Tom Pickering has 10 years’ experience in on-shore gas exploration and production in Europe, and has also applied for – and successfully obtained – the largest number of UK onshore licences of any applicant. Gareth Beamish has 30 years’ experience as a geoscientist with major companies such as ExxonMobil and BG Group, including five years’ experience in shale gas exploration globally. “We are looking at what makes sense for us,” said Gary. “We are certainly big supporters of shale gas production. Whether we are merely cheerleaders, or directly involved in exploration and production, or something in between, will depend on our assessment of the benefits and risks across our options, and then ultimately on how INEOS Capital assess those benefits and risks, and how they want to deploy the resources of the company.” If the UK does manage to tap into its vast reserves of shale gas, Gary believes it could have a knock on effect across Europe. “We can’t be sure, but we do believe that positive progress in any European country will set the tone for the rest of Europe,” he said. “People want secure, competitive and environmentally-friendly energy options, and we believe that if they had all the facts around shale gas production, then they would be supportive.”

    10 minutes read Issue 6
  • The Grangemouth dispute

    The Grangemouth complex, including the refining joint venture Petroineos, is one of the three largest sites in INEOS. It was built over 50 years ago to process oil and gas from the North Sea. video The site has not performed well since the 2008 crisis and has relied on funding from other businesses in INEOS Group, each year since, to survive. A total of £600m (€715 m) has been funded by Group in this period. There are two businesses on this complex and each one has its issues. Refining has suffered from a poor business environment in Europe since the crisis and low margins. It also has had poor reliability and high costs. At the heart of the second business on the site, Chemicals, lies the KG cracker which converts North Sea gases into olefins. These gases have declined rapidly in recent years such that now we can only operate at 50% rates. In addition, the cost base is much too high. Grangemouth (Chemicals and Refining) has been unable to address its high fixed cost base which has been crippling the business, because the resident union on site, Unite, would not sit down to discuss the seriousness of the situation. Pensions are a prime example of the uncompetitive position. A typical pension on our Grangemouth site costs 65% of salary. This is simply unaffordable. Salaries are double the national average in the UK. Any attempt to discuss this unsustainable position by the union was simply met with a ‘no’ and a threat of strike action. Unite threatened to strike 3 times in 2013, in February, in July and in September. The 2008 strike cost the business £120m and deprived Grangemouth of much needed investment in infrastructure. Following a ‘summer of discontent’ over the union convenor, Stevie Deans, who sadly had misused INEOS facilities and information together with mounting losses, we decided that either Grangemouth must accept change or closure. The only scenario for Chemicals that offered a bright future was to supplement the declining North Sea gases with US shale gas, which is both abundant and cheap. Transporting large quantities of gas however requires investment and infrastructure. It requires special ships and large import and export terminals that can handle liquefied gases at minus 100ºC. The total investment necessary to enable Grangemouth to bring in, and process, US shale gas, is in the order of £300m, of which £150m is required to build the import facility at Grangemouth itself. INEOS Capital agreed with management before the summer, that it was prepared to fund this ‘transformational’ project for Grangemouth, but only on condition that the business addressed its cost base including the unaffordable pensions and an overall wage package for operators of £100,000 per year (€120,000 or $160,000). Management constructed a ‘Survival Plan’ for Grangemouth that involved closure of the current pension scheme but replacement with a ‘best in class’ pension scheme, a pay freeze for 3 years and changes in redundancy terms and work flexibility. In return, INEOS agreed to invest £300m to import US gas. Unite continued to refuse to engage in any discussion on the ‘Survival Plan’ meaning that further losses were inevitable, and further more, that businesses elsewhere in the INEOS Group would have to continue to prop up Grangemouth. We asked employees to vote on the Survival plan but sadly the result was a split vote. After much internal discussion following this disappointing outcome, we had little option but to announce closure of the Chemical assets rather than sustain further losses. At the eleventh hour the union announced a reversal of its position and accepted the requirement for the changes needed to secure the funding of £300m. Looking back now the outcome was clearly a very positive one for the site. It means that Grangemouth has a future, and potentially a very good and long lived one at that. It is very regrettable however that the process took the path that it did. It caused distress to employees and families, and it wasted an immense amount of money, over €40,000,000. It was unnecessary and wasteful. Grangemouth needs to find a constructive way to have a dialogue between employees and management as we do in virtually all of our other sites, whether they are unionised or not. We have had two strikes in recent years at a cost of €200 million, years of aggressive confrontational dialogue with unions, multiple strike threats and heavy losses. The world is a changing place, business fortunes rise and fall. At times there will be need for change and there needs to be an effective forum to discuss this. I would ask employees at Grangemouth to consider how in the future they would like to be represented in an effective and constructive way, bearing in mind that both employee and employer benefit from a successful future for Grangemouth. JIM RATCLIFFE

    7 minutes read Issue 5
  • Grangemouth

    The Grangemouth oil refinery dispute took on a new turn in the autumn. After learning that the petrochemical plant in Falkirk, Scotland, will stay open following a deal struck with Unite, allegations emerged of a campaign of bullying and intimidation echoing the union militancy of the Seventies and Eighties. A senior manager at INEOS, the company that operates Grangemouth, claimed that the Unite union sent a mob of protesters to his home, leading him to fear for the safety of his wife and two young children. Meanwhile, the daughter of another director said that she had received a “wanted” poster criticising her father, at her home in Hampshire, hundreds of miles from the Grangemouth plant. David Cameron described the allegations as  “quite shocking” and called on the Labour Party to investigate the claims about the union, which is its largest donor. Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary, defended the tactic as “legal and legitimate”, adding:  “If a company director is engaged in what we believe is an unfair attack on workers and their families and their communities, then the idea that faceless directors can disappear to their leafy suburbs and get away with that type of action is something we think is wrong.” Here, Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman of INEOS, talks about how he took on the union, and what British industry can learn from a thriving Germany. INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe reflects on the Grangemouth dispute and union militancy Towards the end of 2005, INEOS acquired Innovene, the petrochemicals arm of BP, for $9 billion. It quadrupled the size of INEOS overnight and brought with it some of the world’s largest industrial sites.  One of those was in Cologne, Germany. Three months later I visited the Cologne site, similar in size to Grangemouth but far more profitable, where I met the union convenor. His name was Siggi, he stood 6ft 4in tall and was known to represent employees robustly, but fairly. After 15 minutes of ‘get to know you’ chat, he said: “Jim, I don’t like your bonus scheme.” Taken aback, I replied: “But why, Siggi? It’s a very generous bonus scheme.” He responded: “I would rather you spend the money on the plant, on capital expenditure, maintenance and painting so we can be sure there will be jobs for the employees’ children and their children.” There has never been a strike on that site, or a hint of one. The union, on behalf of employees and INEOS, share a common goal: a long-term, successful future. Employees retain good-quality jobs, and INEOS makes profitable returns and reinvests on the site. Sad to say, but invariably a chemical complex in Germany is in better condition and is more efficient than an equivalent one in the UK. And, equally regrettably, the German chemical industry has fared better than its British counterpart, which has experienced a number of closures in the North East and North West. The constructive dialogue that we encounter in Cologne has been lacking at the Grangemouth petrochemicals plant in Falkirk.    Unions can play a valuable role in large organisations where it is difficult to talk to a thousand people. They can negotiate annual pay awards with management, represent grievance cases, and explain and advise   on complicated changes in employment or pension law. However, in my view, they must understand that a business has to be profitable to survive, that the world is always changing, so firms have to adapt to remain competitive, and finally that their role is to safeguard the long-term employment of their members. On the Grangemouth site this year, Unite threatened a strike three times – in February, July and October. In February, the union demanded a pay rise of 3.9 per cent, a level that the business simply could not afford. We had no option but to accede, as the site was not prepared for a strike and it simply would have been too damaging. In late July, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, telephoned the site personally and demanded the reinstatement of Stevie Deans – who had just been suspended following a discovery of thousands of Labour Party emails on our system – or he would “bring Grangemouth to a standstill”. Again, a strike would have been too damaging at that time. And then, in October, came the straw that broke the camel’s back. Unite declared a strike over the investigation of Stevie Deans but, critically and far more damaging, they refused to engage in discussions about the future of the site. Without change, Grangemouth would certainly fail. The business had been unable to adapt to a world that had moved on and become more efficient and competitive, because the union had kept a stranglehold on the plant. Each operator on the Falkirk site now costs close to £100,000 per annum, if one takes salary of £55,000 plus a pension contribution of £35,000, plus bonuses and National Insurance. This level of expense is simply unsustainable in our industry. It is misplaced for unions in Britain to think that we are the enemy. We are not. It is not necessary, nor appropriate, to sow dissent and misrepresent employees or constantly to threaten industrial action. It is wrong for “brothers and sisters” letters (this is how missives from the union to members on site are addressed) to describe doubters or anyone who deigns to cross the union as scabs. It also has the hallmarks of bullying. Not only is it wrong but it is also intimidating, and designed to suppress alternative views – an attitude that runs absolutely counter to the values of society today, in which freedom of speech is cherished. During the dispute, a female employee in accounting, who was worried by the union drumbeat, expressed concern about her job and confirmed that the business was in financial difficulty (she prepared the figures each month) in an email that she put out across the site. She received rude anonymous phone calls, with the phone being slammed down. This small incident was much discussed in INEOS. It upset many of us that a lady in our company, a mother of three, was unable to express her views and concerns freely. It played a part, ultimately, in our resolve not to accept a solution for the site that did not bring with it changes on many fronts, but most importantly, in attitude and working practices. The union issues on the Grangemouth site date back to the Seventies. Only three weeks ago, half a dozen friends and I were guided on rocky trails through the high Alps in Italy on mountain bikes. One participant, Tony Loftus, who had been the operations director for INEOS’s predecessor, Inspec, revealed in a discussion about the troubles at Grangemouth that his first job after a chemistry degree at Manchester University had been as a graduate trainee on the Grangemouth site in the early Seventies. He said, quite spontaneously: “When I was in Grangemouth, there were no problems, we didn’t have any strikes, and management did as they were told.” Little has changed since, and today the site struggles compared with its German counterparts. While unions did not play a part in my family life when I was being brought up, my early years were most certainly spent in a working-class community. My first 10 years were in Failsworth, a northern suburb of Manchester, close to Oldham. I recall being able to count more than 100 mill chimneys from my bedroom window – this is probably how I learnt to count. We lived in a small cul-de-sac called Boston Close, in what I remember as a very pleasant council house. It still exists today. I do recall my father telling me that when he was younger he had climbed every tree in Miles Platting, a neighbouring suburb where he was brought up. It was only many years later as a teenager that it dawned on me that there were no trees in Miles Platting. It is a far cry from the leafy suburbs of the Home Counties. These communities in Lancashire developed in the late 1700s. Workers migrated from the fields and sought new employment and opportunity in the Industrial Revolution that began in the heart of Lancashire. Britain invented the concept of manufacturing. I can clearly see in my family tree many of my ancestors moving from the fields of Derbyshire to Manchester. All signed their name with a cross. I undoubtedly have an affinity to manufacturing, as do many from this part of the country. I am a strong advocate for actually making things in a major economy like Britain. That is not to say I have anything against services. I do not. But I believe that a robust, balanced economy requires a healthy manufacturing sector. We spend a good portion of our income on goods of one sort or another, from washing machines to handbags (heaven knows why so many are required), and it is common sense that we are better off making some of these goods than importing them. Britain has suffered a collapse in its manufacturing base in the past 20 years. A typical economy splits three ways: agriculture, manufacturing and services. Agriculture is normally quite small, at less than 10 per cent; services is generally the largest sector;  and manufacturing might be in the 20 per cent range, as is the case in Germany. Twenty years ago, Britain lagged behind Germany by a small margin, maybe 2 or 3 per cent. Today, Britain’s manufacturing sector is only half of Germany’s. The obvious questions are, why this collapse, and is it important? For me, it certainly is important. An over-dependence on services leads to a fragile economy. Germany emerged from the 2008/9 recession much more quickly and vigorously than Britain. Equally important is the geographic divide here. The Midlands and the North are much more heavily biased to manufacturing, and communities have suffered from high unemployment. London is clearly services-based, and very successful for it. But they are not the only game in town. I see some tendency in government, which sits in a ‘services environment’, that is to say in London, to believe that the future is all about the City and its love affair with financial services. We should take some lessons from Germany, where they have a strong attachment to their thriving manufacturing base and recognise its key role in a balanced economy. I see the rapid decline in manufacturing in Britain stemming from previous governments’ lack of recognition of its importance. Britain doesn’t have a knock-out sales pitch to attract manufacturers. INEOS has several sites in Britain, but they are not as profitable as our plants in Germany, Belgium and, particularly, the US. Britain has expensive energy, skills are not at the levels of other countries, pensions are expensive, and unions can be difficult. Historically, government was not switched on to manufacturing in Britain. In contrast, the USA has excellent skills, most of our sites there are non-unionised, energy is a fraction of the cost in Britain, and they have an enormous market. Germany is simply good at manufacturing – as we used to be. There is no reason that manufacturing should not revive in Britain. The present Government is becoming more attuned to its importance in maintaining a healthy economy. We should never forget that the Brits invented manufacturing. To return to my main theme – the unions and the headlines asking “Unions, good or bad?” – I maintain that Seventies-style union behaviour leads to ruin. By contrast, Siggi, the convenor in Germany I mentioned, is in the 21st century. He challenges, he tests, he shakes the tree and negotiates, but he always persuades INEOS to invest. A good union is good for employers – and for employees.

    14 minutes read Issue 5
  • Challenging times

    Chemistry makes a world of difference to the world we live in. But can the European chemical industry, which directly contributes about €500 billion to the EU economy, convince its masters to listen to its concerns so that it can compete on the global stage? Only time will tell. But time is running out, as INEOS’ Tom Crotty explains. video Europe’s status in the world is under threat. Its petrochemical industry, which directly contributes €500 billion to the EU economy, today faces great challenges from outside and within. But neither should be life-threatening if the European Union sees sense in time, says Tom Crotty, INEOS Group Director. “Europe has a very clear choice,” he said. “Between a vicious circle of decline or a virtuous circle of improvement.” Whichever choice it makes will be determined by two things: the EU’s environmental policies to decarbonize the planet and whether it exploits its own resources to bring down the spiraling cost of energy. “Those are the two biggest issues facing the European Union,” said Tom. Europe is now one of the most expensive places in the world to make petrochemicals. The Middle East is marginally still the cheapest place – but, thanks to its exploitation of shale gas, America is catching up. “The EU has got a problem in that two of the major trading blocks that surround it are accessing much cheaper energy,” said Tom. And it shows. In France, INEOS’ Olefins & Polymers business spends twice as much as America to produce a ton of ethylene. “The US business is our most profitable one and the European business scale-for-scale is probably our least profitable,” he said. Cefic, the Brussels-based Trade Association which is the voice of the chemical industry in Europe as a whole, believes the situation will get worse this year before it gets slightly better next year. “Cefic is forecasting modest growth of 1.5% next year,” said Tom, a Cefic board member. “It is modest growth, but it is real growth.” That growth will be driven by the production of high quality, innovative, high value, environmentally-sound products for markets that demand the best, not necessarily the cheapest. “If you are looking for a specific engineering plastic to make a key component for a brand new BMW, you are not going to go around and ask who’s cheapest, you are going to say: ‘Who’s best?’” That – so far – has safeguarded Europe’s chemical industry. “That is key to Europe’s future,” said Tom. “Without that protection Europe would be flooded by cheap chemical products. “But we must continue to make highly technical products that are difficult for competitors to copy.” One such product is made by INEOS. It specialises in making polymer that the French use for milk bottles. The plastic has to be able to stop chemicals seeping into the milk. “It is not something a big plant in the Middle East can copy or would want to copy because many of them are too big for that,” said Tom. But still, there is no margin for complacency. Cefic is currently urging the European Commission not to impose additional environmental regulations in isolation from the rest of the world. It warns if the EU pursues its 2050 environmental objectives and thereby drives up energy and carbon costs, it will undermine competitiveness and result in carbon leakage and a reduced level of investment in the European Union. “The EU needs to take stock of its environmental policy-making because increasing regulations are driving up prices and it’s having a huge impact,” said Tom. Cefic shares the European Commission’s objective to decarbonise the planet. What it does not agree on is how to achieve that. “Imposing environmental regulations, in isolation from the rest of the world, will cause European chemical production to cease because we won’t be able to afford it,” he said. “That won’t decarbonise the planet because those same products will still be used by Europe’s 350 million consumers. They will simply be imported from the likes of China where you’ll have the additional carbon from production and from transportation. “So you will have increased the amount of carbon and also lost jobs and wealth from the EU. “It makes more environmental and commercial sense to encourage European industries to do the right thing by using their technical expertise to create greener products,” he added. Tom said a ton of PVC currently made in China using energy generated from coal fired power stations, emitted seven times more CO2 than a ton of PVC made in the EU. And that was without taking into account the carbon needed to transport it. “It may be an extreme example,” he said. “But it is a real example.” So the question is: Is the EU listening? The European Commission’s Directorate-General Energy and Directorate-General Enterprise are, says Tom. But he’s not so sure about the Directorate- General Environment, which imposes the regulations. “Their message is that the EU must set an example to the world,” said Tom. “But the reality is the rest of the world is not following. Europe is running in front and the Americans are saying ‘See you later. We are not going to screw up our industry or our economy’.” Tom said carbon taxes would work only if they were imposed globally. “It’s right that the best way to encourage companies to do something different is to make what they do now too expensive, and that is what carbon tax does,” said Tom. “But everybody must do it. “If a tax on carbon is introduced in the EU alone, then nobody upon nobody will run their industrial operations in Europe. They will operate in China, the Middle East or America.” Cefic believes 9% growth is already needed just to bring European production back to where it was before the 2008-2009 downturn, which saw one of INEOS’ major competitors go bust. “We bounced back from the downturn because our reliance on the car and construction industries was much less than our competitors,” said Tom. “For us it was really painful but it wasn’t terminal.” Aside from the threat of carbon taxes, though, the chemical industry is also dismayed at the EU’s reluctance to unlock the natural gas trapped in shale rock and, in turn, help to lower production costs of energy for the industry and consumers in general. “You can keep driving down your own costs but you can only go so far and that’s when you get into the energy policy issue,” said Tom. “I know I sound like a broken record but it’s a huge issue for us.” INEOS’ ChlorVinyls plant in Runcorn in the North of England currently uses as much power as the neighbouring city of Liverpool. Cefic believes the European chemicals sector, which employs 1.2 million, will face tough competition again next year as it battles for growth from US producers who are benefiting from cheap energy and feedstock thanks to shale gas exploitation in America. So far, the UK is European Union’s best hope for cheaper energy. “There is no point in looking anywhere else in Europe at the moment because the opposition is too high,” said Tom. Despite protests in the UK – such as happened in July at Balcombe, West Sussex – the British Government does support the search for shale gas, and has promised to hand control over important, complex, technical planning issues to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA) instead of local councilors. Cuadrilla is one of a dozen UK companies, which have licenses to drill for shale gas. INEOS – with a cracker at Grangemouth in Scotland that needs to find a long-term source of ethane gas to run it – is in talks with all of them. “Clearly we would get involved because we are a customer,” said Tom. “But the question is: Do we want to get even more involved?” “What we do know is that the North Sea ethane gas is virtually gone now and unless we find another source of gas we will be struggling to run the Grangemouth cracker after 2017,” said Tom. In October INEOS announced it planned to invest £300 million in a terminal at Grangemouth so it can import cheaper liquefied gas from America, after staff agreed to support the site’s Survival Plan. The Scottish Government has also indicated that it will provide a £9 million grant to help finance the terminal and the UK Government has given its pre-qualification approval for a £125 million loan guarantee facility, even if Scotland does vote to sever its 306-year-old ties with England in next year’s independence referendum. “We need all their support,” said Tom. Cracks start to appear in Europe America’s ability to produce chemicals cheaply is already having a huge knock-on effect. Worst affected is Europe’s chemical industry that uses mostly crude oil to produce the same products. In a report published by KPMG in October 2012, Mike Shannon, global head of chemicals and performance technologies, forecast that it might cause some economic disruption. “It may cause the shutdown of less lucrative assets – and possible countries blocking the flow of US exports to protect local production.” Arguably it has already started in Europe, which is now one of the most expensive places in the world to manufacture petrochemicals. In September, Total announced it planned to shut down a loss-making steam cracker in Carling, France. The naphtha cracker, which uses crude oil to make chemicals and has been struggling for the past five years, will close in 2015. It will come as no surprise to KPMG, which, in 2009, forecast that 14 of the 43 crackers in Europe would become uneconomical by 2015 due to stiff competition from the Middle East, Asia and America. Meanwhile, in America, with low-cost and abundant ethylene coupled with a slowdown in the growth of domestic demand, US companies are looking for expansion opportunities. The US is already a net exporter of ethylene derivatives and the volume is expected to increase significantly.

    18 minutes read Issue 5
  • United Front

    With Europe facing pressure from outside and within, it has never been more important for management and unions to work together to find solutions. INCH spoke to union representatives from Norway, Italy and Germany about what they believed INEOS needed to do to remain competitive and how they could help. They say marriages are made in heaven. That may well be the case for the defence. But anyone who is married knows they can also be fraught with difficulties. The key to survival is openness, honesty and fairness. Thomas Meiers, the union representative at INEOS Köln, says openness, honesty and fairness are equally as important in business too. “We work closely with INEOS and that’s a good thing,” he said. He said discussions were often intense but that was something INEOS actively encouraged. “Sometimes the discussions between us can get heated, but because we are allowed to be open, all of us can spot any potentially dangerous situations and deal with those potential problems at a very early stage,” he said. Those frank, on-going discussions, he said, meant the union and management could thrash out the best way to approach a particular issue, and find a solution that satisfied all. “Usually the outcome ensures both further economic successes and competitiveness for the company as well as decent working conditions and welfare for the workforce,” he said. And it seems to be working. The Köln site of INEOS Olefins & Polymers is one of the most profitable in Europe. Thomas believes that INEOS’ flat management structure, the way it conducts its business and the fact that staff identify with the company and its aims, have all contributed to that. “Our approach to industrial relations at INEOS is so unique,” he said. “It’s also what makes us sustainable and successful.” Working together towards a common goal is also what motivates Wenche Jansen Tveitan, the union representative at INEOS’ Olefins & Polymers plant in Norway. “Any workplace needs to have the staff on board if it wants to remain competitive,” she said. “And an open relationship, built on trust, is built through openness.” She said regular informal contact between the union reps and management had been the key to building that trust. “Any difference of opinion is brought to the table as soon as possible and not left until the next works’ council meeting,” she said. Management, she said, also used the union as a sounding board. “When that happens, the employees can play an active part and contribute to even better solutions in the end,” she said. That kind of approach is critical, especially in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing and competitive world. Many petrochemical companies are currently investing most of their money in the US rather than Europe because of America’s access to cheap feedstock and energy. With Europe now one of the most expensive places in the world to manufacture petrochemicals, Wenche believes the union can directly – and indirectly – ensure INEOS remains competitive. She said that was especially important in Norway where the cost of living is high. “Our site depends on good performance – all the time,” she said. “We do that by showing our investing in our site yields a good profit.” Wenche said the union was equally as concerned as management about energy prices and taxes – and had often lobbied the government and organisations to try to influence policies that might affect the smooth running of INEOS’ O&P site in Rafnes. “The co-operation between management and unions is of great importance in this regard,” she said. “Together we’re stronger.” Wenche said the union had recently played an important role in setting up meetings with politicians. “We work constantly to show what challenges the land-based industry is facing and what should be done to solve these,” she said. “Together we have managed to get some tax relief and advantageous energy agreements which have improved our competitiveness.” She said the union had also played an important part when both the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and leader of the Standing Committee on Business and Industry visited Noretyl/O&P in Norway. Tom Crotty, INEOS Group director said it was important for the unions to be working on solutions with management. “The relationship with the unions in Köln and Rafnes is fantastic,” he said. “They want to understand the business’ targets and they want to help both indirectly and directly. “They are quite prepared to talk about whether practices need to be changed but also indirectly in how they can put pressure on government and assist you.” Italy’s union representatives expressed similar views to their colleagues in Norway and Germany. “Close dialog and co-operation between the company and us is very important,” said Stefano Santini, union representative at INEOS’ O&P site in Rosignano, Italy. “Over the years we have, together, built up a mutual confidence and trust due to the various commitments taken and then honoured.” In September Total announced it was planning to shut down a loss-making steam cracker in Carling, France. Patrick Pouyanné, President Refining & Chemicals and member of the Executive Committee of Total, blamed growing international competition. “The European petrochemicals market is facing continued overcapacity,” he said. The cracker, which refines crude oil into chemical components to make plastics, is due to close in 2015. The announcement has worried INEOS staff at Rosignano. “The fear here is that this closure could potentially hit also the personnel working in the site of Saralbe,” said Stefano. He is worried – as are many – about the spiralling cost of energy and feedstock in Europe. “We need to work on the energy saving, especially reducing the energy waste by using equipment with low energy consumption,” he said. “We also need to review the energy contracts, and try to produce energy ourselves for the site, and invest in alternative energy sources like the ones coming from use of biomasses.” He said, from a union perspective, INEOS needed to invest in research to develop innovative products, which demanded technical and structural expertise. “We could also invest in finding easier ways to access raw materials,” he said Five things that will help the European chemical industry remain competitive: Cheaper energy:A policy shift towards reducing EU energy costs is seen as vital to drive innovation and investment, create jobs and growth and ultimately help to cut greenhouse gases. Better regulation:The EU’s chemical legislation, Reach, is already viewed as one of the most burdensome pieces of legislation in Europe. The chemical industry has so far complied with it and registered all chemical substances that are manufactured or imported in quantities of more than 100 tons per year. But there is more to come. Under ‘phase 3’ companies, which produce one to 100 tons per year, must register those substances. That will affect nearly every chemical company in the EU and all their customers. A Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership:The proposed TTIP would see import duties scrapped on the €48 billion worth of chemicals traded in 2012 between America and Europe. Cefic would like to see all chemical tariffs eliminated, and hopes the negotiations, which are expected to be finalised in two years, will lead to greater regulatory transparency and co-operation. Retention of Key Enabling Technologies:KETs, as they are known, are seen as critical to re-energise the EU economy. At the moment, although Europe is a global leader in KETs research and development – with a global share in patent applications of more than 30% – it is not translating that research into the production of processes and products needed to stimulate growth and jobs. Protection of its trade secrets:The European Commission is being urged to ensure adequate systems are in place to ensure European innovation know-how is protected. Moving breakthrough ideas to market are viewed as the best way for EU industry to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive global race.

    12 minutes read Issue 5
  • East looks to the west

    China is entering a new and an exciting phase. It needs to continue to provide the chemical raw materials to help deliver growth and it needs to tackle the pollution that is choking its cities, by cutting its CO2 emissions. It cannot do it alone. It needs help from innovative, energy-efficient companies that have the technical expertise together with proven safety records. Companies like INEOS. The Chinese dragon – long seen as a symbol of power, strength and good fortune – has so far served its leaders well. It has witnessed the meteoric rise of China from a small, emerging market into the second biggest economy in the world – and it is even now snapping at America’s heels. But that unprecedented, rapid growth, driven largely by exports and heavy manufacturing, has come at a huge cost to the environment, with China now emitting more CO2 gases than any other country in the world. The world’s perception is that China cares little for the environment. But China’s leaders are no longer willing to accept that. Their latest Five-Year Plan marks a dramatic turning point in their thinking. For years, China has been focused on exports. Now it is looking closer to home. Chinese Business are being actively encouraged to form partnerships with Western companies to help them improve energy efficiency and achieve growth, detailed in the plan. “The seeds were sown in that Five-Year Plan,” said Rob Nevin, CEO of INEOS Nitriles. “The door is open for business.” Earlier this year China formed joint ventures with two of INEOS’ world leading businesses. INEOS Nitriles and INEOS Phenol – to build the largest phenol facility in China and a world-scale acrylonitrile plant to satisfy the growing domestic demand for their petrochemical products. “It’s incredibly exciting,” said Rob. “China is the engine room for petrochemicals and chemicals in terms of demand. And it is the engine that will pull the world. “For INEOS it is an opportunity for us to operate in the largest market in the world. “We wanted to expand and INEOS’ market position and technological know-how meant we were the ideal choice.” China was often referred to as a second planet earth. “You have to go there to appreciate the scale of the place,” he said. “I have lived in the US but China is like nowhere else in the world.” INEOS Phenol is the world’s largest manufacturer of phenol and acetone. China is the world’s fastest growing market for both chemicals, which are used to produce polycarbonate, plastics, phenolic resins, synthetic fibres, such as nylon, and solvents. INEOS Nitriles is the world’s largest producer of acrylonitrile, which is the key ingredient to make carbon fibre, and China cannot get enough of it. Once both facilities are operational, INEOS Nitriles will be the only producer to have plants in each of the world’s largest acrylonitrile markets and INEOS Phenol will be the only company to be producing acetone and phenol in Europe, America and Asia. “It is the leading global producers in the world entering the largest global market,” said Rob. “It’s the perfect marriage.” INEOS Phenol’s joint venture with Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company will lead to the creation of a 1.2 million ton cumene, phenol and acetone complex at Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province. The plant, which will be capable of producing at least 400,000 tons of phenol and 250,000 tons of acetone every year, is due to start satisfying China’s needs by the end of 2016. The new plant will also allow INEOS’ European and US plants to focus on growth in their own markets. “This mutually beneficial partnership is an important development for INEOS Phenol and for INEOS in China,” said Harry Deans, CEO of INEOS Phenol. “It’s also the largest capital investment ever undertaken by INEOS. “Combining a strong, local partner like Sinopec YPC with our leading phenol technology and access to the market brings considerable value to our business and our customers.” INEOS Nitriles has gone into business with state-owned Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group Corporation. Together they plan to build and operate a world-scale acrylonitrile plant in Tianjin, which will be designed using the latest INEOS process and catalyst technology. “We have not started building yet because we haven’t finalised the details, but we have aspirations,” said Rob. “We are widely viewed as the industry safety leader and we intend to bring our very high standards to China. “Safety performance is not great in China but they hope to learn from the way we do things, both in terms of personal safety and our processes. They want high Western standards.” Joint ventures of this type and scale with foreign companies are what China’s leaders want to help it tackle the problems of the past and create a more sustainable economy. Their clear, long-term vision to shift to a highly-efficient, low carbon economy – using advanced, manufacturing technology – is laid out in the China State Council’s 12th Five-Year Plan. Under the plan, China’s leaders promise to: Set new limits on energy consumption Clamp down on companies and industries that consume a lot of energy but produce very little Cut carbon emissions by up to 45% by the year 2020 Reduce China’s reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal Invest in energy-saving technology, and Tackle pollution It’s a challenge but China’s leaders believe it is achievable. Rob, who worked for BP for 25 years, said the speed at which INEOS worked also appealed to the Chinese. “INEOS is a slim, slick and easy company to work with and it’s made a massive difference,” he said. “The contrast between BP and INEOS, in terms of getting something approved, is like night and day.” He said once INEOS Nitriles had agreed on the right project, the right structure and the right location, the proposal was put to chairman Jim Ratcliffe who approved it. “Sometimes things can be approved at a frightening speed,” said Rob who has worked for INEOS for eight years. “But then you have to deliver.” That said, though, Rob explained that the Chinese approval processes had got more and more difficult over the years. “Ten years ago you could have started building anywhere and faced a fine,” he said. “If you ignored that today, construction can be stopped. Today there is an unprecedented level of care and diligence for the environment and its people.” And that, he said, was understandable. “Pollution in China is something that touches people’s lives,” he said. “In the major cities people wear face masks because it can be so bad.” Air pollution is now the biggest cause of civil unrest in China, with The World Bank estimating that 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are within China’s borders. The Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences said the number of protests over pollution in China had increased by about 29% every year since 1966. “In 2011, the number of major environmental incidents, though, actually rose 120%,” said the society’s vice-chairman Yang Zhaofei. In September, the authorities in Beijing unveiled their own five-point plan to tackle pollution in the capital. “What’s new about this is the level of real determination and the level of detail,” said Alvin Lin, China Climate and Energy Policy Director with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing. “There is a new resolve to do something serious about air pollution.” The World Resources Institute said China and the US were currently to blame for 43% of global emissions. China’s problem is that it relies so heavily on coal. “Coal provides China with 70% of its energy and nearly 80% of its electricity,” said Luke Schoen, who wrote a report for The World Resources Institute. Although it has vast domestic coal and gas resources, it has problems accessing it, so it increasingly relies on foreign imports. Its oil comes from the Middle East and Africa, its coal from Australia and Indonesia and its gas from Central Asia and Australia. “China’s leaders acknowledge that the country’s dependence on carbon for energy is a problem,” said Luke. “And that growing dependency on foreign energy is a strategic concern among China’s leaders.” China has discovered huge areas of shale gas but – unlike USA – it does not yet have the breakthrough technology to access it. In the meantime, China’s leaders are concentrating on maintaining growth whilst developing policies to cut carbon emissions and deploy more clean energy. “China actually already invests more in renewables than any other nation,” said Luke. In 2011 it invested $52 billion in renewable energy resources which rose to $67.7 billion last year, 50% more than the US. While other nations may view clean energy as a costly drag on economic growth, China does not. It believes its latest policies will help it to maintain its position as a major global player while tackling climate change – something that it believes poses a significant threat to its long-term prosperity. “By its own estimates, China ascribed $50 billion in direct economic losses to natural disasters in 2011,” said Luke. “And one independent study estimated that that figure could increase to nearly $748 billion per year by 2030 if no action is taken.”

    12 minutes read Issue 5
  • Kids switch off and get switched on…

    INEOS has never been one to run from a challenge. This one is no different. It wants to get kids running again and has launched a bold, new initiative that is doing just that. INEOS is hoping to inspire thousands of children to give the TV, the Internet, and video games a rest, and go out and have some fun. Chairman Jim Ratcliffe has turned his own passion for running into an initiative, which could, in turn, help to tackle one of the most serious global public health challenges facing the 21st century – child obesity. “It’s not rocket science,” he said. “We just want to get children out of the house. “Running is the basis of so many great sports so if our children catch the running bug early, they are more likely to stick to it. And that can only lead to them enjoying a more active and healthier lifestyle.” The first Go Run For Fun event – and it is one of scores planned throughout the UK – saw hundreds of children taking part in a mile-long run. And by the time you read this more than 10,000 children will have taken part. Former British hurdler Colin Jackson, an Olympic silver medalist, was in Newbury, London, to see them off. “Running is simple and kids do it naturally anyway so this is a great way for them to have fun with their mates,” he said. To ensure the campaign’s long-term success, though, INEOS is working with the people behind the iconic Great North Run to stage a series of small and large running events for children aged four to 11 all over the UK. By 2014, it is hoped more than 30,000 children will have taken part in one of the 70 planned Go Run For Fun events, rising to 50,000 – and 100 events – by 2016. “If this comes off – and I have no doubt that it will – it will be the biggest kids’ running initiative in the world,” said Brendan Foster, a former British Olympic long-distance runner who founded the BUPA Great North Run. “It’s also a fantastic legacy from London’s Olympic Games.” The role of Brendan and his team at Nova International will be contact Schools and Local Authorities to encourage children to take part in each event. “You cannot have a Great North Run without people so people will make this happen,” he said. “They will be the essential ingredient to the event’s longevity.” Initially, Brendan believes the INEOS fun runs will attract mostly kids who already enjoy running, and whose parents understand the mind, body and soul benefits of running – rather than those who class running as a chore. “We need to target the parents but where parents are difficult, it will be difficult to get those children involved initially,” he said. “That’s why we need to make the events appealing and inspire those who do take part. “Those kids will then inspire other kids to get involved. And parents will inspire other parents.” So why has this not been done before? “Good question,” said Brendan. “But who knows? “All I know is that we run the largest mass participation event in the UK and are happy encouraging people to participate,” he said. He said it was a combination of the right circumstances – Britain is still on a high after staging last year’s successful Olympic Games – and three like-minded people who wanted to make a difference. Those three people – Jim Ratcliffe, Brendan and Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe – met in London earlier this year. “It was INEOS’ inspiration, Jim’s idea,” said Brendan. “He had a very clear idea of what he wanted to happen and when. “It was a typically bold move. But Jim’s right and his approach is admirable.” Brendan said he was also delighted that the initiative had come, not from the government but, from the UK’s largest privately-owned manufacturing company. video The campaign is being launched in the UK, which has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, but it has been designed so that it can easily be rolled out across Europe and America. “We will have events in Switzerland, France Germany, Belgium and the US but the main focus is the UK at the moment where kids are less active,” said Jim. That sedentary lifestyle – coupled with eating too many fatty, sugary foods – has led to a huge increase in the number of children in the UK with obesity. But the UK is not alone. The World Health Organization said child obesity was now so widespread that it regarded it as one of the most serious global public health challenges facing the 21st century. “Our key objective is simply to inspire children to be active,” said Jim. “Young children like to run around. It’s in their DNA. But so often children are told to slow down and sit still. This campaign is about encouraging children to run again.” Many of the runs will be timed to coincide with existing major running events, such as the Great North Run, to allow children to experience the thrill of taking part in a mass participation event. The Great North Run, which was founded in 1981, is now the world’s largest and most popular half marathon for adults attracted over 55,000 entrants this year. Along side this; a record 6,000 children entered the 4km Junior Great North Run. Brendan and his team are excited at what can be achieved through INEOS’ Go Run For Fun events. “It is such a fantastic initiative because it’s all about young kids simply having fun outside and enjoying running,” he said. “It’s not difficult. We are not trying to put a man on the Moon. We are just trying to get as many kids running for fun as possible. “It can be a competition for those who want it to be, but the objective is to encourage kids to run for fun. “If they go for a run and enjoy it, they might then want to get more involved in the competitive stuff. And they will be the future Great North and London Marathon runners and you can bet that at least one of those 50,000 kids will be at the Olympics.” For INEOS, the rewards will come in seeing young children enjoying sport. “Go Run for Fun really does have just one aim,” said Jim. “And that’s to get kids running. “There isn’t really a link to our business apart from the fact that we are making the investment to get this program up and running. “We don’t have public shareholders to influence or products that consumers can buy. This is just about getting kids running and having fun.” For more information or if you would like to plan an event visit:

    12 minutes read Issue 5
  • Best way to feel miles better

    Running is one of the best ways to improve the mind, body and soul. It’s also easy. “You don’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere,” said Dr Fred Wadsworth, a medical director at Corperformance, which has worked closely with INEOS in the past. He said the medical profession was finally realising that running was not just about burning calories. “There are lots of studies now which show that running is as useful as taking anti-depressants for moderate depression,” he said. One of the biggest misconceptions is that running damages your joints. “If you are fit and well, it actually protects you from arthritis,” said Fred. “The problems arise when you have existing injuries. The best thing you can do is make sure you don’t get overweight.” Fred said running was the best – and quickest – way to get fit. He went on to praise INEOS’ Go Run For Fun initiative to get Britain’s kids running again. “It’s a no brainer but governments haven’t set up a campaign like this so it’s down to companies like INEOS to act,” he said. But he believed the key to its long-term success would be to inspire parents. “The most powerful influence in a child’s life is what his or her parents do,” he said. “They copy what they see. “And they are unlikely to get involved if a parent says: ‘What are you doing that for?’” INEOS is hoping that those, who do get involved, will become keen runners and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. For the long-term benefits of running are now well researched and well documented. Running gives your heart and lungs a workout, it improves circulation and reduces the risk of a heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke. It also relieves stress, improves endurance, boosts your immune system, increases energy and helps you to maintain a healthy body weight. Studies have further shown that healthy adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don’t, they sleep better and their brains are sharper. video

    5 minutes read Issue 5
  • Debate: Is Competition good for kids?

    Is competition a good, or a bad, thing f or children? It’s a subject that has divided opinion for years. Some argue that it encourages a child to excel in today’s fiercely competitive world where we compete for everything be it a job, a partner or a house. Others say it can destroy self-esteem and lead to resentment. Whatever your view, the jury’s still out. We sought a few words of wisdom from those who have had something to say on the subject … Bad:  Most of us were raised to believe that without competition we would all become fat, lazy, and mediocre. And I used to think that competition could be healthy and fun if we kept it in perspective. But there is no such thing as ‘healthy’ competition. In a competitive culture, a child is told that it isn’t enough to be good. He must triumph over others. But the more he competes, the more he needs to compete to feel good about himself. But winning doesn’t build character; it just lets a child gloat temporarily. By definition, not everyone can win a contest. If one child wins, another cannot. Competition leads children to envy winners, to dismiss losers. Co-operation, on the other hand, is marvelously successful at helping children to communicate effectively, to trust in others and to accept those who are different from themselves. Children feel better about themselves when they work with others instead of against them, and their self-esteem doesn’t depend on winning a spelling test or a Little League game.American Alfie Kohn, author of No Contest:The Case Against Competition Sports’ competitions are bad for children if those taking part are expected to achieve more than they are capable of. We realised this and, as such, have changed the emphasis in club athletics nationally. New disciplines in the field of kids’ athletics have been designed that are especially adapted for children aged between 6 and 11. Priority is given to team competition with children taking part in a great variety of disciplines. All the children wishing to take part are allowed to do so and they all proudly go home after a formal ceremony equipped with a written document attesting their participation. Athletics competitions have always been popular with children. Children feel the need to compare their strength and skills to others. Since the beginning of this year we have strengthened that innate motivation by offering children new forms of competitions and disciplines that are even more attractive now, more challenging and thrilling.David Deister, project manager, German Athletics Federation Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but co-operation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.The late Franklin D. Roosevelt, former President of the United States There are enough opportunities in life for children to have a disappointment and to learn to handle that. At our school we are helping them to get ready for all stages of life. We don’t need them to be losing while they’re children in our school.Elizabeth Morley, Principal of the Institute of Child Study Laboratory School, Toronto, Canada Good: Healthy competition inspires kids to do their best – not just good enough. When students compete they will become more inquisitive, research independently, and learn to work with others. They will strive to do more than is required. These abilities prepare children for future situations of all kinds. Whether it’s applying to college, seeking a promotion, or finding a cure for cancer, the ability to be competitive will give them an important edge.Jennifer Veale, founder and executive director of Competition can be a double-edged sword for kids, promoting positive values under the right conditions but creating negative environments that are demotivating under the wrong ones. Competition can be healthy when it provides feedback to kids about their performance and improvement, when winning is not the sole or primary objective, and when kids get to learn about themselves under challenging situations. Under these circumstances, competition can teach invaluable lessons our children do not typically learn in the classroom. Unfortunately, the frequent win-at-all costs mentality associated with many competitive endeavors can undermine children’s motivation and lead them to avoid or even disengage from activities they may otherwise enjoy. It is critical that coaches, educators, and parents work to teach kids these valuable lessons from competition. That way, win or lose, our children will learn, grow, and be better prepared for life, which (like competition) provides highlights, adversity, and continual opportunities to play well with others and treat opponents with dignity and respect.John Tauer, Men’s Head Basketball Coach, Professor of Psychology, University of St Thomas, Minnesota Competition is good for children. It is quite normal for people to judge themselves against others, thus in that respect competition is quite healthy. In a supportive environment it can teach a child to accept failure without losing self-esteem. However, it becomes unhealthy when the competitor is forced to compete or feels that they have to compete in order to gain love or status within the family.Lyn Kendall, Gifted Child Consultant for British Mensa Our national preoccupation with ‘safety first’ and prevailing climate of risk aversion is creating a generation of children who are ill prepared for a world that requires risk taking on a daily basis. Competition teaches critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving. Without those skills countries can’t compete in a global economy. Other proponents of competition in North America claim that competition enhances learning, physical fitness and deters juvenile delinquency.Sir Digby Jones, former UK Government Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment We need to end the ‘all must have prizes’ culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams. That’s why the new UK national curriculum now includes a requirement for primary schools to provide competitive sport.UK Prime Minister David Cameron

    6 minutes read Issue 5
  • The life-saver

    INEOS is obsessive when it comes to safety. But when you work in a high-risk environment, you cannot afford to be complacent. Safety runs through the very heart of all that INEOS does. But INEOS-owned Norward AS exists for one reason alone. And that’s to save lives, as Øyvind Klæboe knows only too well. In August 2003 an Indian helicopter ferrying 25 offshore rig workers nose-dived into the sea, its blades still spinning. The crew, still strapped in their seats, died as the helicopter sank in seconds. Only two passengers survived. They escaped by swimming out of the rear clamshell doors, and were rescued. Both of them were also the only two to have undergone helicopter underwater escape training (HUET). Tragedies like that remind Øyvind Klæboe why the work his team at INEOS-owned Norward AS in Norway matters. They have been teaching offshore workers how to escape in the event of a helicopter ditching in the sea for the past seven years.  video “There is absolutely no doubt about the value of HUET,” he said. “Can it mean the difference between life and death? Absolutely. “You literally have seconds to decide what to do in the event of a crash and, with training, you would have a much greater chance of survival.” Mechanical failure, pilot error and bad weather can all cause a helicopter to crash. A helicopter can fall out of the sky like a stone, spin horribly out of control or actually land quite gently. Whatever happens, the key to survival is to get out as quickly as possible.  “You don’t know how long you have got before a helicopter turns over and sinks so your first priority is to get out of the chopper,” he said. “But then you can face a whole host of other challenges.” Those ‘other challenges’ can include adverse weather conditions, icy cold waters, rough seas, poor visibility, fire or petrol in the water. “You cannot say for certain what you will face but the course teaches people to be prepared for that uncertainty,” he said. It also gives them the confidence to face the unimaginable and stay calm. At Norward, instructors use a mock helicopter in a pool to demonstrate what will happen when a helicopter ditches in the sea and then, in all likelihood due to the fact that helicopters are top heavy, flips over. A wave machine, wind generator and lighting are all used to create different scenarios. “Basically we are able to recreate different situations under very controlled conditions,” said Øyvind. Helicopter crashes are thankfully rare but since 2006 all offshore personnel have to undergo HUET by law. “No one today can go off-shore without a ‘green card’. That means that HUET is mandatory to all employees and visitors,” said Øyvind. “In fact anyone who flies to an off-shore installation must have undergone the basic training.” During the eight-hour HUET course at Norward, workers are taught how to cope with both the physical and psychological stress of ditching in the sea. It’s the type of training that Øyvind hopes they will never need, but knows that, if they do need it, it will be the most important training they have ever had. INEOS acquired the Norward training facility when it bought Norway’s Norsk Hydro ASA’s polymers business in 2007. By then it had been transformed from a simple, in-house emergency response centre, affiliated to Norsk, into a successful business – with a five million Euro turnover – offering training to outside companies and members of the public. “Step by step Norward took up new challenges,” said Øyvind. “We ended up developing our own employees, improved in-house competence and penetrated new markets. “We now serve customers from the private market all over Norway.” One of their biggest customers is Statoil, which this year asked Norward to launch a new course to help its offshore workers learn how – among other things – to help a helicopter pilot land safely on an oil rig, and what to do in the event of an accident. Apart from the standard fire-fighting course modules, and first aid, Øyvind’s team also offers training in industrial safety, and how to tackle gas and chemical leaks. “Courses like these have industrial clients from all over Norway and Norward is one of the best suppliers,” said Øyvind. For more information visit:

    14 minutes read Issue 5
  • Who dares, wins

    This year is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. In 1998, a 12-year-old Scout was listening to a talk about Everest. That boy was Rhys Jones who went on to climb Everest on his 20th birthday and, in doing so, set a record as the youngest person to scale the highest mountains in the world’s seven continents. Mount Everest is not for the faint-hearted. It is a hostile, unforgiving place. A place where, five miles up, death lives in the faces of frozen corpses that litter the route to the top. Apart from the lack of oxygen – high altitude can strip you of your senses – avalanches, rockslides, hurricane-force winds, shifting glaciers, blizzards, frostbite, pneumonia, exhaustion and freezing temperatures await climbers in the ‘death zone’. “It’s called the death zone and it’s even less fun than it sounds,” said climber Rhys Jones. “Taking the endless steps upwards in thin air is like swimming in glue. There’s ice inside the tents. It’s miserable. You have no appetite, you cannot rest properly and it’s brutally cold.” But he who dares, wins. And for Rhys, who had dreamed about climbing to the top of the world’s highest mountain since he was 12, all the pain would be worth those five minutes he would spend on the 29,035ft (8,850m) summit. “I heard a talk about Mount Everest when I was a Scout,” he said. “I didn’t really know anything about mountains until then. But I just decided I wanted to climb Everest one day and the rest of what happened was a result of working towards that goal.” The goal was not only to conquer Everest, but to become the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits Challenge by climbing the highest mountains in each of the world’s seven continents. Mount Everest would be the last of the seven, but first he needed to raise £30,000. “I had sent literally hundreds of letters to potential sponsors but had very little luck,” he said. “But then INEOS stepped in which effectively guaranteed I could do the climb.” INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe agreed to meet Rhys to discuss the planned expedition. “I had no idea what to expect when I met him,” said Rhys. “I remember turning up in my beaten up hatchback and wearing a suit. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.” The two chatted for an hour. “I got the impression nothing is lost on him and he seemed very engaged the whole time we were talking, which was impressive considering how much was probably going on,” said Rhys. “It was also a sign that he had good people working for him in that he could spend a big chunk of the day talking to me.” The face-to-face meeting resulted in a £30,000 sponsorship deal with INEOS. “It was a game changer,” said Rhys. With the money in his pocket – and an INEOS flag to plant at the summit – Rhys could now concentrate on the journey that lay ahead. In May 2006, Rhys, three other climbers, two guides and five Sherpas left Everest Base Camp. “We were the first team of the year to go for the summit so we had to fix rope all the way and break trail in the snow which was a test of character,” he said. “To this very day, that experience provides me with good perspective on what is difficult or not.” Fear, though, was something the team left behind. “To be successful, you can’t afford to have demons,” said Rhys. “Of course I had worries. There were some very close calls. I was nearly taken out twice by an avalanche. People do die on Everest, but I remember being very objective about it, and only scoring things as hit or miss. So long as they were all ‘misses’, I’d continue. “I just hoped I’d be lucky with the weather and not end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Had his carefully laid-out plans unraveled – and on Everest, they can unravel at breathtakingly terrifying speeds – Rhys would have turned back. No matter how close he was to the summit. “No mountain is worth my fingers or toes or my life,” he said. “I’d just go back again. The mountain isn’t going anywhere. Everest, sadly, seems to encourage intelligent people to take stupid risks.” Everest has so far claimed more than 200 lives and about 150 bodies have never been recovered. “You need an overriding mental toughness to climb Everest that stops you from ever turning around unless it’s too dangerous,” he said. “If it’s not, you just have to dig in and get on with it.” Rhys reached the summit, which was shrouded in cloud on May 17 2006 at 3pm after a final 16-hour climb. The relief was immense. “I was monumentally relieved to reach the top but I was also acutely aware of the fact that it was late and I had a very long descent ahead of me,” he said. “I just unrolled the INEOS flag, took off my oxygen mask, had a few photographs taken, said ‘thank god for that’ and went down.” Today Rhys runs his own business, RJ7 Expeditions, a company that operates from offices in four continents, helping others to plan trips of a lifetime. “It’s not in the same league as INEOS but we are growing aggressively,” he said with a smile. Lessons learned from climbing have helped him to shape the business. “There’s a lot of synergy between the two,” he said. “Managing a team in a high risk environment, achieving goals and being ambitious apply equally to both.” His also views risks in life as necessary. “A degree of risk is usually the key to achieving something,” he said. “The risks I take climbing are still sometimes a matter of life or death, the risks I take in business may be more financial. But I treat them both in a similar way, and focus on the facts, the likelihoods, the outcomes and then make a judgement.” He believes many businesses fail today due to poor management and lack of focus. “A poorly motivated team is a huge money pit yet it can cost relatively little to remedy,” he said. “A lack of clear focus is also a trap, as many companies try to grab what they can in the current climate, instead of sticking to what they’re good at.” Rhys is – and will always be – driven by his passion. “In all the years I have been climbing, I have never felt like I’ve conquered a mountain,” he said. “I just feel lucky to have enjoyed the climb and been able to stand on the summit for a few moments.”

    10 minutes read Issue 5
  • All power to Switzerland

    The world needs chemistry now more than ever. Far from being a drain on society, the chemical industry is best placed to understand what needs to be done to create a sustainable world and, more importantly, it knows how to achieve it. So far 11 countries have signed up to SusChem Europe. Switzerland is next. And INEOS – a company that thrives on finding innovative solutions to challenging problems – is in the driving seat. The Fukushima nuclear disaster – triggered by an earthquake and a massive tsunami in Japan in March 2011 – sent shockwaves around the world. Germany shut down eight of its reactors, Italy voted overwhelmingly to keep their country nuclear free and Spain banned the construction of new reactors. There was a similar reaction in Switzerland, which actually was the first country in Europe to announce plans to phase out nuclear power in the wake of the crisis in Japan. In its place, the Federal Council and Parliament laid the foundations for a new strategy for Swiss energy to 2050. Initially Switzerland will have to rely on imported energy and electricity, which will increase its carbon footprint and presents a huge political and economic challenge. But that bold decision has also created a real opportunity – and incentive – for Switzerland to use energy more responsibly and upgrade the use of carbon – as a feedstock rather than a fuel. In November SusChem Switzerland will be launched at an Ecochem gathering of the world’s most influential industry and government leaders, scientists and innovators in Basel. And the timing of this INEOS-driven initiative could not be better. “INEOS has been one of the key companies behind SusChem Switzerland right from the start,” said Greet Van Eetvelde, chairman of SusChem Switzerland. Its aims will be to find ways of cutting carbon emissions, reducing energy consumption, managing resources effectively, handling waste and developing clean technologies. “Industrial symbiosis will be a key focus,” said Greet. “To make things happen, different industry sectors will need to find new ways of working together to build a shared vision for the future that benefits all.” Greet, who works for INEOS Europe, said process industry produced a lot of waste heat that could easily be re-used onsite, by other industries or even in neighbouring communities. “That’s the future,” she said. “And it is a win-win situation for all parties. One industry may have a question; another the answer. We will act as the glue in between.” Today INEOS works closely with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to create energy integration and optimisation on the INEOS production sites. Last year INEOS also agreed to financially support innovative and entrepreneurial projects involving the EPFL researchers until 2022. Greet said, “She hoped the ‘INEOS Innogrant’ would support some fascinating laboratory research, especially in the field of green chemistry.” The first ‘INEOS Innogrant’ will be awarded at the SusChem conference to Imperix, a young company that has been tackling power grid stability. Energy production, management and storage, as well as CO2 capture and utilisation, will also be researched at the EPFL Valais Wallis campus in the Swiss canton of Valais. One study has been focusing on whether Switzerland could take advantage of its glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate due to rising temperatures. When glaciers meet, new lakes are formed. But the study explored whether these natural reservoirs could in fact help to boost hydroelectric power production. So far 11 countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK, currently have their own SusChem National Technology Platforms. Switzerland – thanks to a push from INEOS – will be the 12th. The Swiss initiative will be launched at the three-day Ecochem conference, which will see the brightest sparks from across the chemical industry and value chains gathered in one place with one aim: to speed up ‘green chemistry’. This network of national technology platforms are all linked to SusChem Europe – The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, which was launched as a joint initiative between The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and others in 2004. Far from being a ‘talking shop’, it has become a force for good and is now formally recognised by the European Commission. Over the years SusChem has helped to develop advanced materials and process technologies that have led to a more efficient use of energy, feedstock and water. And It is now very much at the heart of the European Union’s growth strategy and also ‘Horizon 2020’, a new Research and Innovation Framework program due to be launched next year to tackle climate change, energy and food security, health and the ageing population. In short, the European Commission believes the European chemical industry has a pivotal role to play in creating a better future for us all. SusChem Switzerland will be building on SusChem Europe’s vision and mission to create an even more competitive and innovative Europe where sustainable chemistry provides solutions for future generations. “INEOS knows it can help,” said Greet. For INEOS, which moved its headquarters to Rolle in 2010, its involvement also gives the company a chance to play a bigger part in shaping Switzerland’s future, while at the same time increasing its own presence. Cefic said it was delighted at INEOS’ decision to become a key player in SusChem Switzerland. “Switzerland is an important manufacturing hub for Europe, both in base chemicals and fine chemicals for active ingredients for health and many more,” said Esther Agyeman-Budu, Cefic’s communication counsellor for research and innovation. “Companies, like INEOS, which has more ‘know how’ on the production side are needed to rejuvenate manufacturing. With our limited resources, we need to ensure that our resources are maximized, in terms of the value they bring to society.” For more information about the Ecochem conference, log on to, or for SusChem, visit

    8 minutes read Issue 5
  • Climate of change

    Some of the world’s leading chemical companies have challenged themselves to tackle a global problem to preserve the Earth’s natural resources. By 2030 INEOS, AGA, AkzoNobel, Borealis and Perstorp, the chemical cluster in Stenungsund, Sweden, want to be producing plastics and chemicals used for tubes, pipes, flooring, paints, cables, detergents, and many other applications, where possible, without fossil oil, coal or natural gas. For INEOS in Stenungsund, which relies solely on fossil fuels, it will be a tough challenge. But Lars Josefsson, Chairman of INEOS Sverige AB, says finding and switching to renewable fuels is vitally important, not only to Sweden but the rest of the world if it is to help reverse the effects of climate change. “It is a major challenge but we want to help build a future society where resources are used efficiently and all our products are recycled,” he said. “We want to use renewable resources to develop more sustainable products.” The chemical cluster with the five companies in Stenungsund, are viewed among the best in the world. As such, they have already secured significant funding since launching their vision – Sustainable Chemistry 2030. “If we succeed, it would mean a significant improvement towards the environment and the economic prosperity of our region,” said Lars. “We know that it’s possible but it cannot happen by itself. It requires many players to achieve it, including the collaboration with academia, politicians and other industries. We all need to work together.” And that’s what they have been doing since they outlined their vision. So far they have won funding from, among others, the European Union and several Swedish government agencies. Their vision to break their dependence on the Earth’s reserves of oil and gas, has also earned them the respect of the local community. Within 20 years, the five key companies believe Stenungsund will be the engine in Western Sweden’s economy, the hub for manufacturing of sustainable products within the chemical industry, and the place for companies with similar mindsets to thrive and develop. But the journey towards 2030 has arguably already started. Both INEOS and Borealis have been involved in pushing and supporting Stena Recycling’s plans to develop the technology to enable thousands of tons of cable plastics to be recycled and upgraded to new products yearly. The recycling started a couple of years ago and every year thousands of tons of plastics (PVC and PE) is successfully recycled. “That previously wasn’t possible due to the high content of metal in the material,” said Lars. Another example involves AkzoNobel, which invest a lot in research and development. One end – commercial – result is a water-based and effective dirt and grease remover, which now allows more than 97% of water to be re-used in car washes. Most of all new car washing stations in Sweden are built using this technology. “Energy is also very important,” said Lars. “And we have a project ongoing for energy saving. “A total site analysis study carried out by Chalmers University of Technology and funded by the Swedish energy agency is showing a big saving potential if we look at all the five companies together. “A second phase has now been started to find out how this potential can be realised.” The chemical cluster has also launched a project for increased plastic recycling from hospitals. “There is a lot of plastic used in hospitals including PVC,” said Lars. “We have now a consortium of partners, including the county of Stockholm and the west coast region of Sweden. In addition to INEOS other partners include Universities and Institutes of Sweden, Recycling Companies and PVC MedAlliance*. The aim is to establishing a sustainable management system for medical plastic waste through close collaboration between various stakeholders and field projects.” Another project is a joint program with leading Swedish paper and pulp companies to explore possibly sourcing renewable raw materials from forests. Sweden, which has the third largest paper and pulp industry in Europe, is in a unique position in that large swathes of the country are covered in forest. But with paper consumption decreasing, the industry is looking for new applications. The project, Forest-Chemistry, is supported by the Swedish government agency VINNOVA. Sustainable Chemistry 2030, meanwhile, has also won support from academic institutions such as Chalmers University of Technology, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, The University of Gothenburg, IVL, and Luleå/Umeå University among others. “Our vision, Sustainable Chemistry 2030, has increased the co-operation in the cluster and is a platform to communicate that chemistry is needed to move towards a bio-based society,” said Lars. “This will be very important when we also discuss other important issues with the politicians.” Lars said the year 2030 provides clear focus and maintains the pressure to achieve our target. “We think it’s possible to reach our goal,” he said. *Read more about PVC Med Alliance a

    6 minutes read Issue 5
  • Ethylene terminal gives INEOS edge over rivals

    INEOS Oxide has opened a new million tonne deep-sea terminal at its plant in Belgium so that it can access competitively-priced ethylene from around the world. Video CEO Hans Casier said it meant the Antwerp site would be able to compete successfully with the best in the world. The new terminal, which is at the heart of the second largest petrochemical region in the world, was officially opened by the Kris Peeters, the Minister-President of Flanders. “This new terminal gives a new strength to the petrochemical cluster in Antwerp, which for the past 50 years has brought skilled jobs and prosperity to Flanders,” he said. “This investment shows that INEOS sees a future in Antwerp and is a sign that the policy of Flanders is starting to bear fruit.” The terminal will be capable of unloading shipments of ethylene from the world’s largest ethylene vessels for INEOS’ European plants located at the Antwerp site and also those connected along the ARG pipeline, which links Antwerp to Köln and the Ruhr industrial areas. By connecting the terminal to INEOS Oxide in Antwerp and beyond, via the pipeline, to INEOS Oligomers LAO/PAO facility in Feluy Belgium, and INEOS Olefins & Polymers in Lillo and Köln, INEOS will be able to supply a competitively-priced raw material to efficiently balance its requirements across many of its main European facilities.

    4 minutes read Issue 5
  • Industry viewed in a new light

    The French glimpsed industry in a different light this summer. Giant, illuminated images and photographs of people working at INEOS and Petroineos were beamed on to huge storage tanks, and big photographs of the Lavéra refinery were also displayed on buildings in Martigues and Port-de-Bouc. The occasion – dubbed Industrial Night – was part of European Capital of Culture Marseille-Provence’s tribute to its industrial heritage. The Lavéra site – including subsidiaries Appryl, Naphtachimie and Oxochimie – is normally closed to the public, but that too opened its doors. Martine Le Ster, from Petroineos Manufacturing France SAS, said more than 700 people took advantage of the special opening hours and enjoyed bus tours with full commentary from actors. Elsewhere plays and concerts were staged and other companies’ sites also welcomed streams of visitors.

    1 minute read Issue 5
  • Unipetrol puts faith in INEOS

    The Czech Republic’s leading refinery and petrochemical group has chosen INEOS to help it develop its polyethylene business. Unipetrol has licensed INEOS Technologies’ Innovene S Process so it can manufacture medium density and high density polyethylene at its cracker complex in Litvinov. Unipetrol said the construction of the new polyethylene unit was a key investment project in its medium-term strategy. “We have chosen the newest technology, which will allow us to innovate our current product portfolio and satisfy most demanding requirements of our customers,” says Marek Świtajewski, Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Director. The technology will also improve production safety and reliability.

    1 minute read Issue 5
  • INEOS Capital

    Sustainability runs through the very heart of the way INEOS operates around the world. But how does the company approach this much talked about subject? To find out, Tom Crotty met Jim Dawson, a nonexecutive director of INEOS, the chairman of INEOS Technologies, Oxide and Bio and someone with vast experience of the petrochemicals industry. video Tom: Many companies have invested in sustainability departments but INEOS hasn’t. Doesn’t INEOS view sustainability as important enough to warrant its own department? Jim: Quite the contrary. Sustainability is important to INEOS. It is a feature of all of our activities. We are not the sort of company that has a big central office that says ‘Sustainability’. We expect every business and everybody in it to follow that approach as part of its day-to-day business. I can remember when – because I am old – some 40 years ago the price of oil was $2 (about $10 in today’s terms) and energy was cheap. Today, and for the past couple of years, it has been about $110 globally and therefore there is a big pressure to improve energy consumption and also to produce products that save energy, so a good example of this is where we improve the operation and efficiency of our plants. We invest in better heat exchangers. We improve our reliability and reduce flaring. We improve our furnaces to be more efficient. As a result our energy consumption drops quite a bit. And the products we produce also provide significant benefit to society. Products such as expanded polystyrene for example. We have a special version called EPS Silver that is used to insulate buildings. It is a special form of EPS that can improve energy efficiency by 20% compared with the standard product. That’s just one example of producing products that are good for sustainable development. On average, across chemical products, for every kilogram of carbon emitted in their production, two kilograms of carbon are saved in their use. Tom: INEOS often talks about the importance of being a good neighbour. Why is that so important to the sustainability of the business? Jim: It is important in many ways. We have to maintain trust and have a good relationship with our neighbouring communities. One reason, of course, is that we employ quite a lot of people, at our sites, who live in the neighbouring communities. It is very important to be transparent about what is going on our sites. A good example is on safety and environment. Both are very import to us. If we get that right, our communities know we are doing the right thing. We take Safety Health and Environmental performance very seriously at the highest level. We have 15 businesses and we have board meetings every month or two. At the start of every meeting we have a session on personal safety, on process safety and environmental impact. And I am pleased to say that last year our personal safety records was one of the best ever in INEOS history and the environmental impact record was one of the best in INEOS history, so I think we are doing good things for the community and ourselves by working on that. We also have community meetings at many sites so that people are totally aware what’s going on in their neighbouring plant. Tom: Another important aspect of sustainability is attracting and retaining the right people. How is INEOS investing in training and developing the best workforce? Jim: Ours is a technically demanding business and there is plenty of competition so we need to make sure we attract and retain the right people, and that is at all levels in the organisation. It may be apprenticeships where we are trying to improve operations on our plants and provide opportunities for further progression. Or it may be graduate programmes where we are trying to get other training for those people so that they can diversify their career, get opportunities in different businesses and progress through the company. Because of that, we do a lot of work with various institutions, with schools, with technical colleges and universities to try to identify and attract those best people, that will one day be the leaders of our businesses. Tom: Jim, we have talked a lot about the culture of the business. And the culture within INEOS seems to encourage the development of an entrepreneurial spirit. Why is that? Jim: INEOS has its own style. It is focused. It focuses on profit. It focuses on safety and it wants an entrepreneurial, “can-do” style. And we need that because the chemical industry is complex and competitive. Chemicals are used in transport, in medicine, in communications, in buildings, in a whole raft of important markets and we need an entrepreneurial spirit to make the best of those. And there are some good examples. Liquid food packaging is important to all of us. We can make the central barriers 35% thinner by using a different catalyst in the polyethylene that forms them. We also do simple things like using a different form of high density polyethylene to reduce the weight of bottle tops. It is a trivial thing but when you think of the billions of bottles that are produced and the contents consumed, then small amounts of change like that make a big difference. Another example of entrepreneurial thinking is in our bio-fuels. We have developed a process to convert organic waste into bio-ethanol, and that organic waste can be municipal solid waste. It is then gasified into syngas, which is carbon monoxide and hydrogen. That then reacts with micro-organisms and they convert it into ethanol. We have constructed an eight million gallon, commercial scale plant in Florida. It is mechanically complete. It is the first plant in the world. It is new technology so we are going through a quite time consuming mechanism of starting the plant up. Dealing with solids at the front end or liquids in the middle takes time to optimise. When completed we will be producing bio-ethanol on a commercial scale that goes into the nation’s fuel supply. And that’s certainly an example of sustainable development. Tom: Why is it so important that companies like ours create and develop products that make a difference? Jim: Quite simply, it is the nature of the chemicals business. It’s important that we produce new products for what the world requires. And sometimes those products may be common ones. For example, chlorine is a commodity that has been around for many, many decades and yet the chlorine we produce in the UK purifies 98% of the country’s water supply. Now that is a statistic to be proud of. We have also developed a bio-chlor membrane process to remove mercury and improve the efficiency of making this chlorine by some 30%. Another example is synthetic motor oils. Car engines are getting more and more complex and they are getting more and more efficient and therefore they need high quality motor oils to operate them. We produce synthetic oils and this goes into top-end lubricants. But it doesn’t stop there. We also use similar things in compressor boxes and in gear boxes and a good example is a special form of lubricant that we have developed for wind turbines. You can imagine if you have set up a wind turbine - it is on a tall structure and the gear box is high in the sky – you won’t want to be climbing up and down that structure every week to lubricate it. That’s why we have developed products that have a good sheer strength, last a long time, are good lubricants, reduce friction, and are ideal to extend the service life of the wave of wind turbines we see around the world. We are also a producer of acrylonitrile, which is the precursor to carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is light and strong. If you use them in aircraft you can reduce fuel consumption by about 30%. Of course, you are moving a lighter structure around the sky so it is not just carbon fibre in golf clubs. In transport you can make a big difference. We do feel at INEOS that we make products that make a real difference.

    20 minutes read Issue 4
  • The importance of forward thinking

    Companies wanting to grow sustainable businesses must have a rich source of talent to tap into. But when you are faced with ageing workforces and a shortage of skills, it becomes critical. Like all Science, Engineering and Technology companies INEOS knows that only too well. It’s one of the reasons it works so hard to ensure that that INEOS is a rewarding place to work so that they can attract – and more importantly, develop and retain – talented employees Forward-thinking companies do just that. They think ahead. They think about the future. They plan. And an essential part of that plan means working out exactly who are the future stars of your business. And that has never been more important for the chemical industry. An ageing workforce combined with a skills shortage is now having a profound effect on all industries, says The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic). For the chemical industry, which needs a continuous stream of skilled, highly trained, highly disciplined and motivated employees to survive in highly competitive world markets, it’s a particular worry because of the decline in the number of students who view science as a career. Part of the problem is to do with the image of science in schools and the public’s generally negative perception of industry. Earlier this year Cefic published its first-ever report on how the chemical industry in Europe should work towards sustainability. It said the chemical industry had to do more to change its public image – and believed it could, if the industry were more open, engaged more with students, governments and stakeholders, and publicly demonstrated how its products made a difference to society. “Our aim is to make chemistry and our business an even more attractive employment option,” said Cefic. As a company, INEOS has arguably started to do that. It knows it needs to raise its public profile globally so that is able to attract the next generation of researchers, engineers, managers and line workers. For despite INEOS’ position in the world you would not be alone if you said: ‘I’ve never heard of INEOS.’ To address the balance, INEOS has been busy building solid bridges with schools, colleges, universities, and local communities. Its aim is always the same: to inspire and excite the brightest young sparks to want to work for them – and reassure communities that it cares about their wellbeing too. “Building positive relations with our local communities and making our company a great place to work make good business sense,” said Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, Communications Manager at INEOS’ Köln site. “And both are essential to ensuring the long-term success of our company.” The approach is working. In America and Germany, where INEOS works closely with schools, universities and organisations, it has effectively been able to shape its own destiny by recruiting exactly the type of people it needs. “In short we have been able to establish a talent pipeline,” Sam Scheiner, HR director at Olefins & Polymer USA, told INCH magazine. Much of the good work, though, that INEOS does goes on – quietly – behind the scenes. Dr Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua recently addressed a global science conference in Helsinki, Finland, which was organised by the Global Network of Science Academies to highlight how schools and industry needed to prepare tomorrow’s workforce. INEOS – along with the other chemical industries in Stenungsung, Sweden – is also heavily involved with Molekylverkstan, a world class science centre that last year alone welcomed 50,000 visitors. There, young children are encouraged to experiment with exhibits of molecules to help them understand how the world really works. “Molekylverkstan is a platform for the chemical industries,” said Carita Johansson, Communications Officer at INEOS ChlorVinyls in Stenungsund. “And our ultimate aim is to raise awareness and interest in science.” In addition, INEOS works with the local specialist Technical College to help shape the students’ courses so that they are relevant to life in industry. “The co-operation between the chemical industries and the schools is important because it means we are more likely to interest talented children that will one day be future employees with the skills we need,” she said. Elsewhere, though, INEOS’ biggest hurdle is the fact that many outside the company remain unaware of INEOS even though it employs 15,000 people and operates 51 manufacturing sites in 11 countries. “Considering the size of INEOS, we have never really sold the INEOS story as well as we should,” said Jill Dolan, INEOS Group HR Director. To help tell that story, this year, INEOS attended some top university careers fairs in the US and Europe for the first time. But tempting the very best to join an organisation is not enough, says Nathalie Crutzen, Accenture chairman in Sustainable Strategy, HEC-Management School of the University of Liege. She said companies also needed to do more to improve the lot of the employee – and those living in and working close to chemical sites. “If we want to reach the objectives of the macroeconomic goal of sustainable development, firms also need to improve the social aspects, such as the wellbeing of workers and the wealth of the population around the firm,” she said. It’s an area in which INEOS again addresses as part of its day to day operation. “We work hard to ensure that INEOS is a rewarding place for our staff to work because we know that a highly skilled workforce is vital for the long-term sustainability of our company,” said Jill. “We also want and need to maintain the trust of communities living and working close to our sites and are committed to supporting them because it underpins our licence to operate.”

    8 minutes read Issue 4
  • A safety first for INEOS

    Safety is INEOS’ top priority. The company knows that its businesses won’t last long if it takes the safety of their employees and those living close to its manufacturing plants for granted. For years INEOS as a group has kept very tight control on its performance, using a system it inherited from ICI. Today it is doing things differently. It wants the world to be able to judge its performance against the very best The world will soon be able to fairly judge INEOS’ safety performance against other petrochemical companies. Multi-national chemical giants Shell, Dow Chemical, BP, and Exxon have, for years, reported their workplace injuries and illnesses according to the rules of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a federal agency of the United States Department of Labour that was founded during Richard Nixon’s US presidency in 1970. For years INEOS – a company that has grown from acquisition – has used a system for recording ‘classified reportable injuries’ and illnesses that it inherited from ICI. Now, though, it has decided as a Group to report under OSHA’s Umbrella, in line with other companies. “Although the OSHA record keeping is an American-based system, it is recognised globally,” said Stephen Yee, Business Safety Health and Environment Manager based at INEOS ChlorVinyls. “This will make it easier for us to compare our safety performance against the likes of Exxon,” he said. “We will now be able to compare like for like.” INEOS’ businesses in the US already fall under OSHA regulations and INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA’s two largest facilities have already earned OSHA Star and Merit ratings under the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Companies that qualify to join this programme must operate an effective health and safety systems that meets rigorous performance-based criteria. In short, they are deemed to go above and beyond what OSHA expects of them. The INEOS system has worked extremely well and has enabled the company to significantly improve the safety performance of its businesses. As the company has grown over the years INEOS saw no need to change it. The decision to now switch to OSHA record-keeping guidelines is a big and bold step. “OSHA is very different,” said Stephen. Whereas INEOS would not log an incident as a ‘classified reportable injury’ if a member of staff were prescribed paracetomol by a company doctor, OSHA would expect it to be recorded under its recording guidelines. “Safety remains our highest priority and by making this change we will continue to monitor and improve our safety performance but the company will be recording events in a slightly different way” said Stephen. To make the transition easier – and so that staff know that INEOS’ safety performance has not deteriorated overnight – Stephen said he had compiled a report to show how INEOS would have fared under OSHA record-keeping guidelines since 2002. “We wanted to give staff an indication of what the figures would have looked like, across the company,” he said. Since October, INEOS has been running both systems to ensure continuous improvement. “By doing that our employees can continue to see what our performance would have been like under our old system,” said Stephen. Making this change does not alter the company’s legal compliance and INEOS will continue to meet its regulatory requirements. “In every country we have local, legal requirements,” he said. “That won’t change.” For the past four years INEOS’ safety r