Scotland business

Grangemouth plant owner Ineos boosts ethane ship order

A CGI image of how Grangemouth will look in 2016 with a shale gas carrier sailing past the new ethane facility Image copyright Ineos
Image caption Ineos released a computer-generated image of what Grangemouth will look like in 2016, with a shale gas carrier sailing past the new ethane facility

Grangemouth petrochemical plant owner Ineos has ordered another two ships to bring shale gas from the US to Europe.

The two Dragon Class ethane vessels will boost the Ineos fleet to eight.

Ineos said the order from Evergas would satisfy demand from its crackers at Grangemouth and Rafnes, Norway.

It added US ethane was vital for the long-term future of the crackers, which it said had relied on "declining and expensive" ethane volumes from the North Sea.

At Grangemouth, construction of a new ethane import terminal and storage tank is well under way and is expected to be completed in 2016.

A new ethane storage tank and terminal are approaching completion at Rafnes and should be fully operational next year, according to Ineos.

'Important milestone'

David Thompson, from Ineos Trading and Shipping, said: "This exciting news is another important milestone in our plan to bring the benefits of US shale economics to our European sites.

"The ethane that we are bringing to our sites from the US is essential to these plants.

"The two additional 'dragon ships' mean we can transport sufficient volumes of ethane to meet the demands of our manufacturing sites and continue to take advantage of significant cost benefits."

The Dragon Class ships are capable of transporting LNG (liquefied natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as well as petrochemical gases including ethylene.

They are expected to enter service from 2015, transporting shale gas from the Texas Gulf coast to Scotland and Norway.

The first batch of vessels is currently under construction in China.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites