Frequently
Asked Questions

  • 1. What does Project ONE represent for the European Chemical Industry?

    Project ONE is the largest and most substantial investment in the European chemical sector in the past 20 years. When this multi-billion project is completed, Antwerp will be home to the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly ethylene installation in Europe together with a modern, state-of-the-art propane dehydrogenation (PDH)  unit.

    The two manufacturing  plants will produce ethylene and propylene, vital raw materials used as the building blocks in products that have become integral to every part of our modern daily lives. These plants will be located in the Port of Antwerp. In addition to the construction of the two manufacturing plants, anciliary infrastructure and utilities will be installed, including power and steam generation and a loading and unloading facility for ocean-going vessels.

    With investment comes jobs. Project ONE will create  employment opportunities in the port of Antwerp for around 450 new high value and long term  roles. And, during the construction phase we anticipate up to  15 million man-hours at the site and a maximum of 3000 contractors on the site in peak work periods. You can find more information about these exciting opportunities in the jobs section.

  • 2. Where will Project ONE be built?

    Project ONE is being built in a designated industrial zone in the port of Antwerp, infilling on unused land. The blue  outline in the image below shows the northern and southern project areas, where the PDH unit and the ethane installation will be built, respectively.

  • 3. Why is Project ONE being built in Antwerp?

    INEOS can trace its heritage back to 1998 and its first manufacturing plant in Antwerp. Since then, we have maintained good relationships with the port community. We strongly believe that the port of Antwerp – with its entrepreneurship, logistics infrastructure and highly skilled workforce – is the perfect location for our largest and newest investment in Europe.

    Moreover, the port of Antwerp’s location is one of its greatest assets. Access to deep water berths, an existing network of pipelines and the co-location of well-established petrochemical and manufacturing plants makes Antwerp unique.

    For these reasons, we are continuing our investment in the port of Antwerp with Project ONE, the arrival of which will strenghten and increase the effectiveness of Europe’s chemical sector.

  • 4. What will be produced there?

    Project ONE will see the construction  of two production units: propylene will be produced in the PDH unit; and an ethane cracker will produce ethylene in the other unit. Ethylene and propylene are essential building blocks for numerous high-quality products in the automotive, construction, energy and medical sectors (among others). For example, pipes for transporting drinking water and gas, insulation materials, textiles, solar panels, wind turbine lubricants and blades, food hygiene, medical applications and lightweight car components. Ordinarily INEOS would import these raw materials from various parts of the world. Project ONE allows it to move up the value chain, bring  the production of these essential products under its own management on the world’s latest technology.  

  • 5. Who is INEOS?

    With the acquisition of its first plant in Antwerp in 1998 INEOS has grown into a leading global chemical company with 183 sites and 23,000 employees worldwide. INEOS produces the essential building blocks for a wide variety of high-quality products that are ubiquitous in our daily lives, such as medicines, disinfectant hand gel, sterile packaging, pipes for transporting potable water. Materials for solar panels and wind turbines, lightweight materials for the automotive industry which lower fuel consumption, insulation materials, inks and paints all rely on chemicals from INEOS. As does packaging materials that increase the safety and storage time of foodstuffs, and so on.

    INEOS has nine separate production units, Research & Development facilities and three commercial offices in Belgium. Of these, seven separate production sites are located in and around Antwerp (Lillo (2), Doel, Geel, Zandvliet (2), Zwijndrecht). Project ONE will be the eighth production site in Antwerp and the 10th in Belgium.

  • 6. Why is Project ONE important for Europe?

    In the last 20 years, there has been a steady and significant decline in Europe’s share of the global chemical sector to half what it was two decades  ago. Moreover, for several years, the European chemical sector has been lagging behind in terms of new investments which introduce new and more efficient technologies, with improved environmental performance. To arrest this decline and redress the balance of global chemical manufacture, INEOS made the conscious decision to respond to a growing demand for chemical products produced with best-in-class environmental profile  by building a state-of-the-art site in Europe.

    Project ONE will utilise the very latest production technologies which  will result in significant environmental benefits and a much lighter carbon ‘footprint’ than is currently the case for ethylene production in Europe. It is an important step towards our goal of delivering  a greener and more sustainable chemical sector.

  • 7. Why is this a game-changer for the chemical industry?

    All recent major chemical investments have been made in Asia, the Middle East or the United States – exacerbating the decline in the European manufacturing base and making Europe increasingly dependent on other parts of the world. Project ONE will make European chemistry more competitive and have a positive effect on employment and prosperity in Antwerp and Flanders.

    Using state-of-the-art technologies, Project ONE will be the most energy-efficient production site in Europe (compared to similar European plants), with a substantially smaller carbon  footprint. Project ONE will generate more than 2 million tonnes per year of ethylene and propylene (also referred to as olefins) – the building blocks of the chemical industry. And it will do this with less than half of the CO2 emissions than the average of the five best-performing olefins competitor plants in Europe (in terms of carbon footprint).

  • 8. What is Project ONE’s added value for the region?

    Antwerp, and by extension Flanders, will greatly benefit from INEOS’ significant investment in Project ONE. The project will further strengthen the future of chemical manufacturing in the region and underpin the existing chemical cluster.

    In addition, construction of the site will require approximately 15 million man-hours. Once Project ONE is operational, it will employ approximately 450 people directly. Project ONE’s activities will also create employment indirectly: every direct  job on the site will generate ca five additional indirect jobs with third party suppliers, engineering and support services.

    It will renew technology at the heart of the European Chemicals sector, breathing new life into manufacturing, bringing jobs back to a closely regulated sector that will play an essential role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the continent.

  • 9. Have the works already started?

    It is early days yet. Preliminary work has started but we are still focusing on the engineering and designing of the installations and applying for the necessary permits. We expect to start the main works in the second half of 2021.

  • 10. What phase of the process is Project ONE now in?

    Right now, there are over 100 people working at project ONE. They are studying and designing the industrial installations, and the permit procedure is in progress. They expect to be able to start building in the second half of 2021 and commission during 2025.

    Project ONE is currently recruiting. We are looking for talented engineers, operators, technicians, and other skilled employees.

    Apply here to work on Project ONE.

  • 11. How is INEOS taking questions and suggestions from local residents into account?

    INEOS will be completely transparant with local residents and stakeholders through this project. Project ONE will contribute to the prosperity of the region, employment and renewal of technology in the sector.

    In April 2020 we organized a voluntary consultation as part of  an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) study, whereby it was possible to submit proposals regarding the content and methodology of the EIA. The public responses that were submitted have been reviewed and have been taken into consideration by the administration of the Flemish Government in the development of its scoping advice for the EIA.

    We are also a member of the Chemical Advisory Board, through which we periodically enter into dialogue with the residents of the surrounding residential areas of Stabroek, Berendrecht and Lillo.

    Via this dedicated website, we will keep our neighbours informed of the progress of the works and the project, and we will endeavour to minimize any inconvenience.

  • 12. How will INEOS limit inconvenience to the neighborhood?

    Logistics and transport

    During the construction phase we will maximise the  use of ship transport to move the larger components that comprise the major elements of the project. This will reduce the burden of road traffic in the neighborhood. A modular design of the manufacturing plants has been chosen, whereby the large components are constructed off-site prior to transportation by ship to the site in Lillo. In this way, we can significantly reduce both the construction time and any local inconvenience that might result from moving these modules using the local road network.

    Imports of ethane and propane, the raw materials to be used in the new manufacturing plants are currently supplied by ship and will continue to be so. When the new plants are commissioned and are in operation, the ethylene and propylene they produce will be primarily transported via pipelines: the safest and most ecological method of transport.

    Noise – light – odour

    During the construction phase of Project ONE we will comply with noise standards at all times. Noise reduction technologies will be employed in the design of the plant to meet stringent Flemish standards.

    Once in operation, the use of ground flares will limit visible flare activity. The elevated flares serve primarily as a safety system and would be used during the start up and shut down process of the plants. We anticipate that the modern design and control systems will deliver high reliability and will therefore minimize the need for flaring. Other emissions that could potentially give off an aroma are handled in completely enclosed systems and vapors will be treated or captured.

    Protecting nature and biodiversity

    It will be necessary to prepare the industrial ground that has become overgrown. The existing vegetation on the industrial site will be removed, under permit, to prepare the ground for construction. In order to protect and relocate biodiversity, we have been working with the port and well-known, trusted, independent organisations responsible for the conservation of nature. This work has included a significant number of measures including the relocation of protected species, creating similar habitats elsewhere in the Port and the preservation of a natural corridor on the site. INEOS will also replant substantial acres of forest in sustainable areas all over Flanders to compensate for the necessary removal of vegetation on the site.

  • 13. When will Project ONE be completed?

    Before we can commence construction  on Project ONE, we must obtain the necessary permits. We expect to be able to start construction in the second half of 2021, and that commissioning will take place during 2025.

  • 14. What exactly will the two Project ONE manufacturing plants do? Which raw materials?

    The two plants constructed as part of Project ONE will convert ethane to ethylene and propane to propylene. Ethylene and propylene are chemistry’s main building blocks and are vital in the manufacture of  many products  essential in everyday life: building materials, medical applications, food hygiene, clothing, wind turbine components, light packaging materials, lightweight parts for cars, and many more.

  • 15. Will shale gas come to Antwerp?

    The US extracts natural gas to meet its domestic energy needs. The majority of this gas is made up of methane but also contains smaller amounts of ethane, butane, and propane. Ethane gas used to be flared at the well head, because it has to be removed from the gas stream for domestic and industrial use. However for the petrochemical industry, this by-product of the gas industry has value, as a feedstock that can be converted into valuable materials, rather than burned.

    The US obtains its natural gas from shale. The ethane derived from this is shipped to Europe by INEOS for the manufacture of a range of products that have a benefit to society in their applications.

    Ethane is imported into Antwerp by ship. These ships are a new class of gas carrier, the most efficient ever developed. They are also powered by ethane gas and not by heavy fuel oil. Using gas as a fuel eliminates emissions compared to conventional shipping fuels.

    An independent study ‘from well to product’, compared the CO2 emissions from the production of ethylene from ethane gas, such as in Project ONE, with the production of ethylene using a component of crude oil (a so-called naphtha installation). The study, which encompassed the process from the source to, storage, transport and production, demonstrates that Project ONE’s ethane-based production emits less than half of the CO2 as compared to the naphtha based alternative.

  • 16. How is the Project’s impact on the environment and immediate surroundings being investigated?

    High standards of Safety, Health and Environment are at the heart of all that INEOS does. The environmental performance of Project ONE is being closely monitored at all stages of its implementation. We will meet or exceed all environmental expectations called for by the stringent standards of the Flemish environmental authorities now and in the future. Through hydrogen fuelling and additional energy saving measures the CO2 emissions of Project ONE are expected to be half of the average of the top 5 olefin plants in Europe with the lowest carbon footprint.

    An environmental impact assessment (EIA) study will be carried out with the permit applications which will map out the effects on the environment and the surrounding area.

  • 17. What about the impact on the surrounding municipalities?

    The project area is located in the port of Antwerp (see Where will Project ONE be built?) and surrounded by other industrial and port-related activities. The nearest residential centers are those of Berendrecht (at 1 km) and Lillo Fort and Zandvliet (at approx. 2 km). The effects on the residential environment are also examined by the Flemish environmental agencies, to ensure that they satisfy the relevant regulations. Environmental measurements will be taken regularly during the operation of the installations.

    Because the site’s final products will be primarily transferred by pipeline to other sites in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, this transport does not require trucks, which would additionally burden the road network and the air and noise quality.

    Local residents who have questions can always contact us.

  • 18. Will INEOS also flare on Project ONE?

    Flaring is to be minimised. It is a safety mechanism to remove flammable gases from the system. This is important to ensure the safety of a chemical site, in the interest of all employees and local residents.

    Flaring is done primarily when starting and stopping the installations, or with major interruptions such as a power failure. Usually, this will be done via ground flares, in order to limit the impact on the surrounding area. INEOS will examine how it can best inform local residents when the large flaring tower must be used.

  • 19. Will INEOS compensate for the removal of vegetation in the project area?

    INEOS will compensate for this temporary vegetation in an industrial zone by planting trees and creating new habitats in designated areas. The protected species will also find a new long term home there.

    As part of INEOS’ commitment to the environment we will plant at least 55 hectares of indigenous trees. This far exceeds the 41 hectares required under the legislation. It is twice the surface of all trees that are older than 22 years. In addition, we will replant 4 hectares of gorse and other bushes in the port area.To make this planting successful, we are working with trusted experts from the port and recognized nature associations.

  • 20. Will Project ONE cause additional pellets to enter the port and nature?

    Project ONE will not produce pellets.The ethylene and propylene produced by the new plants are gases that will be primarily transported as liquids through pipelines to other industrial sites that are already producing products in the port, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

  • 21. Will Project ONE produce plastic that ends up in the environment?

    The ethylene and propylene that will be produced are the building blocks of numerous products we benefit from in our everyday life. Think of insulation materials, pipes, lightweight materials that reduce car fuel consumption and emissions, de-icing products for aircraft, face creams, health care and medical applications such as disinfectant hand gel, syringes, intravenous bags and sterile packaging, wind turbine blades and lubricants, packaging materials that lengthen the storage time of foods, and so on.

    Plastics are not intended to end up in the natural environment . It’s not the plastics themselves, but the pollution caused by discarded plastics that we, as a society, must tackle. INEOS’ vision is that we should evolve into a world where plastics are not viewed as disposable products, but valuable materials. That’s why INEOS invests heavily in the advanced recycling of plastics – and today, all of INEOS’ polymers are already recyclable. You can read more about this in the INEOS Pledge. By 2025 INEOS has committed to processing at least 325,000 tons of recycled material into products; using an average of 30% recycled material in products intended for polystyrene packaging in Europe; bringing a range of polyolefin products to market for packaging materials in Europe with at least 50% recycled material; and ensuring that 100% of our polymers are recyclable.

    At INEOS’ research centre in Neder-over-Heembeek, they have achieved a breakthrough in mechanical recycling with their Recycl-IN products, which have been developed and tested in Belgium. These are granules composed of 50% recycled and 50% new material.

    INEOS has also developed a new biopolymer produced from a residue of the pulp and paper industry that helps produce plastics with 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

    INEOS supports various initiatives to remove plastics that have ended up in the environment. Just think of Operation Clean Sweep in the port of Antwerp, the Ocean Clean-up, and other sustainability initiatives of the port of Antwerp.

  • 22. What does Project ONE mean for the climate?

    By investing in new technologies we are helping to modernise, update and upgrade the European chemical industry, creating highly efficient facilities with much improved environmental emissions.

    CO2

    By using the latest technologies, our olefins complex will emit less than half of the CO2 that the best performing comparable installations in Europe. For example, it will use hydrogen, a gas produced during the manufacture of ethylene and propylene, as a fuel, displacing a proportion of the hydrocarbon fuel typically used.  This will significantly reduce the amount of  CO2 associated with hydrocarbon combustion.

    Project ONE sets the new environmental standards for ethylene and propylene production. In addition,  the products made from Project ONE’s ethylene and propylene will ultimately save twice as much CO2 as was necessary for their production – because these end-products will be lighter and stronger making transport, construction and packaging more efficient and with longer lifetimes.

    Carbon Capture
    We’re also making provision within Project ONE for the collection of CO2. Whilst the current technology for capturing CO2 from the manufacturing process is still very energy-intensive, and there is currently no network for discharging the collected CO2,  we expect important technological breakthroughs in the near future that will make carbon capture much more efficient. So we’re building this into the design of Project ONE.

    A study is currently being carried out to consider the infrastructure required at the Port of Antwerp to capture, collect and export CO2. INEOS is working on this with other operators from the port of Antwerp via the Antwerp@C consortium.

    Energy consumption

    Project ONE will be highly energy-efficient. The design has considered all avenues to maximise this efficiency including the maximum integration of heat and cold flows  to eliminate energy loss and lower energy consumption. For example the cold ‘energy’ of the cryogenic ethane and propane supplied will be reused to save energy in the refrigeration sections of the plant. And the heat of the furnaces of the ethane installations will be reused elsewhere in the process which lowers the need for on purpose steam production.

    Carbon-efficiency                

    Minimising energy consumption is the critical driver to maximising carbon efficiency. In addition, in the design of the ethane cracker and PDH unit, very ‘selective’ technologies have been chosen that contribute to a maximum conversion of the raw materials into high-quality chemicals. This results in a particularly high carbon-efficiency of more than 90% – which is much higher than in installations that use naphtha (crude oil component) instead of ethane or propane. This means that 90% of the carbon in the raw material is converted into a high-quality chemical building block.

  • 23. How does Project ONE fit into the climate ambitions of the port of Antwerp and the government?

    INEOS endorses these ambitions. For example, we support the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and the European Green Deal. And this is demonstrated in our actions. With Project ONE, we are building one of the most energy & raw material efficient and environmentally-friendly installations in Europe. We’re also investing in research into technology for the capture and storage of CO2 (among other research topics). Technology that we already provide space for today on the Project ONE site. Incidentally, we have been capturing CO2 at our INEOS Oxide site in Zwijndrecht for 10 years now, and the captured CO2 is used for industrial use via the bECO2 joint venture. And INEOS Oil & Gas is progressing carbon storage projects in Denmark.

  • 24. Will Project ONE create jobs?

    Certainly. Project ONE will:

    • require around 15 million man-hours during the construction phase. This equates to 3000 contracts on site during peak construction periods.
    • create around 450 permanent and high-value jobs when Project ONE is operational.
    • create ca five jobs at other companies for each employee on the Project ONE site.
  • 25. Can I work for INEOS?

    INEOS is always looking for talented, well-motivated and highly skilled people to work with us. Please frequently visit our website to look for vacancies and other opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • 26. Is working in the chemistry industry safe?

    INEOS has one of the best safety records in the industry. The safety of our employees, and those that live and work close to our sites is our top priority. It is at the heart of all we do at INEOS. With our ‘Zero Accidents’ objective, we are doing our utmost to reduce the number of accidents right down to zero. And we’re well on our way to achieving this: in 2019, we scored 0.16 on the OSHA recordable scale. This is the equivalent of 1 incident per 700 years worked.