INEOS and the City of Antwerp join forces to employ Antwerp workers in the construction works for the ethane cracker

  • Commitment to creating career opportunities for job-seekers from the Antwerp region

Last Friday the Municipal Executive approved a declaration of commitment with INEOS. In it INEOS and the City of Antwerp engage to train and employ job-seekers from Antwerp at the INEOS 'Project One' site.

John McNally, CEO INEOS Project One: Project One is the biggest investment in the chemical cluster in the port of Antwerp for decades. Thousands of workers will be employed by contractors and subcontractors. INEOS shares the responsibility for deploying Antwerp job-seekers on this site.

With Project One, INEOS is bringing technological innovation to the Port of Antwerp by building a plant there for the production of ethylene, one of the most widely used basic chemicals in the world. Construction will take four years and at the height of the works some 2,500 workers will be working on site every day. There are currently 28,832 job-seekers in Antwerp. The need is therefore high. Together with the City of Antwerp, INEOS has now committed to hiring workers from Antwerp.

INEOS and the City of Antwerp are convinced that Antwerp job seekers can develop successful careers in the port and the chemical industry given the right support. INEOS believes that the Project One site could be the start of that career for those who want to work here. Workers will be able to work on both the preparatory works and the actual construction of the production unit.

John McNally, CEO of Project ONE:

Project One is the largest investment in the chemical cluster in the port of Antwerp in decades. Thousands of workers will be employed by contractors and subcontractors during the construction works. Next year INEOS will have been operating in Antwerp for 25 years, and in that time it has built up a special relationship with the region and the port community. We started up our first activities here. We want to give something back to the local community and offer opportunities to workers from Antwerp by providing them with work experience on our site.

Alderman Erica Caluwaerts, responsible for Work and Economy:

I am very pleased that a major (industrial) player like INEOS is taking the step towards the City to work together on employment. The challenges of getting more job-seekers from Antwerp to work remain immense. Our ambition is to work in a very concrete way on routes that will lead Antwerp residents to the construction site as quickly as possible. And also to the start of a career in the port. As a city we have sufficient experience in this area in other similar projects. We are now going to work to put our cooperation agreement into practice.

Before work can begin on the production unit itself, numerous preparatory works will be carried out, such as the construction of paved roads, utilities such as gas, water and sewage pipes, workshops and office space.

Project ONE offers prospects for regular and social employment and room for internships and dual learning paths, both on site and in the factory's operating phase.

The City of Antwerp will support INEOS by

  • Facilitating pathways to work on site;
  • Raising awareness, stimulating and supporting the contractors who will start working on the construction site;
  • Facilitating cooperation with structural partner VDAB;
  • Creating learning-working opportunities on the shop floor (mentorship, adapted entry routes, etc.);
  • Opening up spin-off activities and assignments to the social economy.

Today, about 140 employees are already employed within the framework of Project ONE. They are preparing the design and realisation of the industrial installations, while the permit procedure is running. INEOS expects to start the first work this year, with the installations to be ready by 2026.

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