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INEOS to discontinue Wilhelmshaven cracker project


INEOS has reluctantly decided that it will suspend all further work on the planned investment in a new ethane cracker at the Wilhelmshaven site, Germany, following recent discussions between Statoil, E.ON Ruhrgas and INEOS on this investment project.

Increasing capital costs of well over 30% in the last twelve months alone have made the project, in its current form, economically unviable.

INEOS recognises the support given by the City of Wilhelmshaven, the Government of Lower Saxony and the Federal Government to the Wilhelmshaven expansion plan, and the Company remains committed to investing in its operations in the region, but this cannot be achieved at any cost. The decision that has been made recognises the significant impact of higher capital costs on the viability of this particular project. 

Using ethane from a gas separation unit to be constructed by Statoil and E.ON Ruhrgas in Dornum, INEOS had planned to expand its operations at the site through investments in a new ethane steam cracker, with accompanying investments in a new membrane chlorine cellroom along with major uprates to its existing VCM and SPVC plants. In addition, it was to construct an ethylene pipeline from Wilhelmshaven to the ARG pipeline in North Rhine-Westphalia.

This is clearly a disappointing outcome for INEOS, the City of Wilhelmshaven and the State of Lower Saxony,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “All parties have invested considerable resources developing their projects since the original agreement between the three companies was made in August 2005. It is unfortunate that the recent increase in project related material and labour costs has had such a significant impact on the project economics that it became unsustainable.”

INEOS remains committed to the growth of all of its core businesses and to expansion in Germany. 

For further information contact: 

Richard Longden – INEOS - Tel: +44 1928 513064

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