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INEOS raises the roof on Europe’s biggest ethane tank at Grangemouth in Scotland

In a remarkable feat of engineering, Grangemouth today saw the 330 tonne roof on Europe’s biggest ethane tank floated up almost 150 feet on nothing more than a cushion of air.

The investment into the ethane project represents part of a £450 million rescue package for  Grangemouth. The tank is designed to hold over 60,000 cubic metres of ethane brought from the United States to replace declining North Sea supply.

INEOS has established a groundbreaking $1 billion dollar global project, spanning China, the US and Europe – all to bring ethane to Grangemouth and Norway.

This project will transform the Grangemouth petrochemicals business, providing a secure supply of essential ethane for the next 15 years.


John McNally, CEO of INEOS O&P UK, says, “This is an important day for Grangemouth. It takes us one step nearer our goal of importing US ethane to Scotland and putting Grangemouth back into the premier league of petrochemical plants.” 

INEOS Grangemouth today saw the massive roof that covers Europe’s biggest ethane storage tank rise into place using just four low pressure fans, following six months of building work.

The huge tank is 56 metres in diameter and 44 metres high – that gives it a displacement volume of 108,372 cubic metres – large enough for 560 double decker buses to fit inside.

The investment in the Grangemouth tank and infrastructure is part of the company’s £450 million rescue package to equip the site to import  ethane gas from the US.  The project will transform Grangemouth overnight and will allow its manufacturing assets to once more compete globally, providing raw materials for thousands of manufacturing businesses across the UK and Europe.

John McNally, CEO of INEOS O&P UK, says, “This is a landmark day for Grangemouth. We know that US ethane has transformed US manufacturing and now Scottish industry will benefit as well. This will secure a cost-effective supply of ethane for the next 15 years, and give a sustainable base for Grangemouth for that time.”  

The building of Europe’s largest ethane storage tank is just part of INEOS’ $1 billion global project to get US Shale gas to Europe.

INEOS has contracts to access a 100 mile pipeline from the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook gas terminal close to Philadelphia.

INEOS has commissioned eight huge Dragon class ships to carry the liquefied Shale gas ethane from the US to Europe.

INEOS has even built two brand new import terminals to receive the gas, one at Grangemouth and the other at Rafnes in Norway. This huge ethane storage tank and supporting infrastructure is one part of this project.

John McNally adds, “Bringing US ethane to Europe is a huge undertaking involving INEOS experts from across the globe. To raise the roof of this huge tank means that yet another milestone for the project has been reached. It is still early days on this project as we now set to work on the internal structure of the tank and the surrounding infrastructure.  We are on schedule for the first US ethane to arrive in Grangemouth during the second half of  2016.”