INEOS reveals blueprint for future

A £300 MILLION blueprint to transform Grangemouth into the UK hub of the United States shale gas revolution has been unveiled.

The massive plant, which was at the centre of a major industrial relations dispute last month, is set to be the first in the country to receive shale gas from the US.

Owner Ineos hopes the plan will reverse crippling losses and secure the future of the site.

Grangemouth has been thrust into the limelight in recent months after one of the most bitter labour disputes for many years saw it teeter on the brink of closure before a deal was struck between management and unions.

The “survival” deal meant cuts in pay and conditions for workers, but also gave the green light to the massive investment to overhaul the way Grangemouth does business.

A huge new 40-metre high storage tank which can hold 33,000 tonnes of liquefied ethane – the biggest of its kind in Europe – is at the heart of the plans and will be completed in 2016 with a price tag of £125m.

The changes will also see new docking facilities on the nearby banks of the Forth for two ships Ineos is having specially built to transport the lucrative ethane gas to Scotland.

There is also to be an overhaul of the current “cracker”, which breaks the gas down and allows it be used in the plastics, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

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