A Game Changer: INEOS invests €5bn in Europe

game changer for Europe

Project ONE is an ambitious scheme to build the world’s most efficient propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and ethane gas cracker in the heart of mainland Europe. With well over 5 billion euros already allocated, Project ONE represents one of the largest single investments in INEOS’ history and the most significant investment in European petrochemicals in the last 20 years.


All eyes on Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp’s position in the heart of Europe, with existing INEOS operations and infrastructure, as well as excellent road, rail and sea links, made it the ideal choice for Project ONE. The investment is expected to provide major boost to the wider Antwerp economy and increase Europe's competitiveness through identified production efficiencies and by leveraging the latest available technologies, whilst always ensuring compliance with the strict environmental standards that apply in the region.

Our investment in a gas cracker and world-scale PDH unit is the largest of its kind in Europe for more than a generation and is an important development for the European petrochemical industry.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Founder and Chairman of INEOS

Full circle

INEOS and Belgium share a rich history. Antwerp was home to the first business that INEOS Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, acquired in 1998 and it continues to be an important region for the company’s European operations today. In this sense, INEOS is returning to its roots with the multi-billion euro investment at Lillo, located within the Port of Antwerp.

About Project One

Following a period of public consultation, Project ONE is now in the process of applying for the necessary permits, with the construction phase expected to take in the region of four to five years to complete. With this in mind, we expect Project ONE’s PDH unit to be operational in 2024, with the ethane installation coming online one year later.


To strengthen the Port of Antwerp's position as a chemical cluster and leverage all available production, emissions and distribution efficiencies to improve the competitiveness of the European chemical sector.


With Project ONE, the port of Antwerp will soon have Europe’s most energy-efficient ethylene cracker and a world-scale PDH unit – helping to safeguard the region’s position within the industry for the next generation.


Employing up to 3,000 contractors during construction and creating 450 permanent jobs in the port, with an additional 3,500 indirect jobs within the wider supply chain and support services, Project ONE represents a major growth opportunity for the local area and wider region.


Dependable and sustainable

Driving efficiencies and making all of INEOS’ operations more sustainable is key to the business’ overarching strategic objectives. The sustainability profile of the new Project ONE assets is therefore a key deliverable for INEOS. By integrating the two units and taking advantage of the latest technological developments, we can drive efficiencies and significantly reduce associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for both ethylene and propylene, compared to existing benchmark levels for these essential building blocks.

Replicating US Gulf Coast economics in Europe gives us a very strong position to capitalise our feedstock cost advantage for the long term.

Rob Ingram CEO of INEOS Olefins & Polymers

Empowering the chemical cluster

With a turnover of 66 billion Euros, the chemical sector is the economic engine of Belgium and accounts for one third of Belgian exports. After Houston, Texas, the port of Antwerp represents the most important petrochemical cluster in the world. However, this position is coming under pressure due to the exponential growth in investments in China, Asia, the Middle East and the US. INEOS’ decision to build Project ONE in Europe demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to its European operations and is a notable economic boost for the port of Antwerp.

Selecting Antwerp as a location for these new assets is a significant step forward for the development of this project, building upon our long-standing relationship with the Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, and the governments of Flanders and Belgium.

John McNally CEO of Project ONE

A new generation

Project ONE will be pioneering in terms of the technologies used, the reduced environmental impact achieved, and the initiative’s overall production efficiency. We expect to cut CO2 emissions in half compared to similar plants located elsewhere in Europe by co-producing hydrogen in both the ethylene and propylene units. This zero-emission fuel which will be used instead of natural gas across the facility. We believe that this investment will eventually have a market-rectifying effect and will push old capacity out of the market, thereby renewing the sector as a whole.


Looking to the future

We are going to leverage every available technological advantage, but we will also be building with the future in mind. Both the propane dehydrogenation unit and ethane gas cracker will be carbon capture ready, with space for the construction of a carbon capture plant set aside. INEOS is also playing an important role in the Antwerp@C project, which is studying the possibilities for carbon capturing, utilisation and storage within the port of Antwerp.