Frequently
Asked Questions

  • 1. What does Project ONE stand for?

    Project ONE is the largest and most substantial investment in the European chemical sector in the past 20 years. When this project Is completed, Antwerp will have the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly ethylene installation in all of Europe. INEOS is making over €3 billion available for the realization of Project ONE.

    The industrial plant will produce ethylene, the building block of products that are part of our daily lives. In addition to the construction of the industrial installation, the site will also be equipped with the necessary infrastructure and utilities, such as paved roads and underground pipes, the construction of steam boilers and an electrical distribution network, a water purification station, and loading and unloading infrastructure for sea-going vessels.

    The arrival of Project ONE will benefit employment in the port of Antwerp. With this investment, INEOS is creating 300 full-time high-qualified jobs and 150 permanent contractor jobs on site and a fivefold indirectly in the region.  During the works, this figure will rise to more than 3000. You can find more information in the jobs section.

  • 2. Where will Project ONE be built?

    Project ONE is being built in an industrial zone in the port of Antwerp, and is hence an example of an infill project in the port. We will build the ethane cracker in Lillo, on the right bank of the River Scheldt, amidst other chemical plants.

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

    INEOS was founded more than 20 years ago in Antwerp. And since then, we have maintained good relationships with the city and the port. We are strongly convinced that the port of Antwerp – with its entrepreneurship, logistics Infrastructure and well-trained people – is the perfect base for our activities.

    Moreover, the port of Antwerp’s location is one of its greatest assets. The direct deep-sea access, the existing pipeline network, and an ecosystem where cross-pollination with sector colleagues is encouraged, make the port of Antwerp unique.

    For these reasons, INEOS continues to invest in Antwerp. With the arrival of Project ONE, we are strengthening our presence and increasing the effectiveness of Europe’s chemical sector.

  • 4. What will be produced there?

    Project ONE consists of an ethane cracker which will produce 1450 000 tonnes of ethylene. Ethylene is an essential building block 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, windmill lubricants and blades, sterile packaging, MRI scanners, recyclable packaging, and lightweight parts for cars.

  • 5. Who is INEOS?

    INEOS is an international chemical company with roots in Antwerp. At 194 sites and with 26,000 employees worldwide, INEOS produces the essential building blocks for a wide variety of high-quality products that are ubiquitous in our daily lives: cosmetics, medicines, disinfectant hand gel, sterile packaging, pipes for transporting potable water, solar panels and wind turbines, lightweight materials for the automotive industry, insulation materials, inks and paints, packaging materials that increase the storage time of foodstuffs, and so on.

    INEOS has 10 production units, R&D facilities and 3 commercial offices in Belgium. Of these, 8 production sites are located in and around Antwerp (Lillo (2), Doel, Geel(2), Zandvliet (2), Zwijndrecht). Project ONE will be the 9th production site in Antwerp and the 11th in Belgium.

  • 6. Why is Project ONE important for Europe?

    In the last 20 years, Europe’s share of the global chemical sector has been cut In half. Moreover, for several years now, the European chemical sector has been lagging behind in terms of new investments. Therefore, INEOS made the conscious decision to respond to the growing demand for chemical products by building a state-of-the-art site in Europe. Antwerp was chosen because of the historical connection with our birthplace.

    Project ONE will use the latest production technologies which enables it to significantly reduce its impact on the environment and lower its carbon footprint as compared to the current ethylene production in Europe. This technological renewal is a major step towards a more sustainable chemical industry.

  • 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 – which threatened to make Europe dependent on these 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 become the most energy-efficient production site in Europe (compared to similar European plants), with a substantially smaller footprint. Project ONE will generate almost one and a half million tons of ethylene – an essential building block of the chemical industry. And it will do this with less than half of the CO2 emissions than the 10% best-performing steam crackers in Europe.

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

    Antwerp, and by extension Flanders, will greatly benefit from the realization of Project ONE. The project will further strengthen the future of chemistry in the region and enrich the existing chemical cluster.

    In addition, construction of the site will require millions of man-hours. Once Project ONE is operational, it will employ approximately 450 people (300 high-quality full-time jobs and 150 permanent contractor jobs on site) directly. Project ONE’s activities will also create employment indirectly: every job on the site will generate 5 additional jobs at producers, suppliers, maintenance services, engineering firms, and so on.

  • 9. Have the works already started?

    The project is still in an early stage. We are currently studying and designing the installations and applying for the permits to build Project ONE. We expect to start the early works in the last quarter of 2022 and the construction of the cracker in the course of the first half of 2023.

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

    Today, we are studying and designing the industrial installations, and the permit procedure is in progress. We expect to be able to start building in the first quarter of 2023 and to have the installations ready by mid 2026.

    In the meantime, we are already recruiting employees. If you wish, you can apply to work on Project ONE. We are looking for engineers, operators, technical profiles, and other employees. There are currently about 100 employees working at Project ONE.

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

    INEOS wants to design a project that contributes to the prosperity of the region.

    For the Project EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), we organized a voluntary consultation in April 2020, whereby it was possible to submit proposals regarding the content and methodology of this notification. The public responses that were submitted have been included by the administration of the Flemish government in the development of the scoping advice.

    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 website, we also want to keep the neighborhood informed of the further progress of the works, as we strive to minimize any inconvenience.

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

    Logistics and transport

    During Project ONE’s construction, maximum use will be made of ship transport to minimize the burden on road traffic in the neighborhood. A modular design was chosen, whereby large modules are produced off-site and then transferred by ship to the site in Lillo. In this way, we can significantly reduce both the construction time and any local inconvenience.

    Ethane, the raw material of the Project ONE installation, is supplied by ship. When the installations are put into operation, the ethylene produced will be transported via pipelines: the safest and most ecological method of transport, which relieves road traffic as much as possible.

    Noise – light – odour

    We’re striving for the lowest possible noise emissions during the construction of the installation. The use of ground flares will limit visible flare activity. The elevation flares serve primarily as a safety system and will only be used to start up and shut down the installation or in the event of a major malfunction. The high reliability requirements of the production units should minimize the need for flaring. The nuisance of odour is not expected: the planned water purification installation will break down the sulfur compounds from the ethane cracker in a closed installation.

    Protecting nature and biodiversity

    The existing vegetation (trees and gorse) on the industrial site – which must be removed to prepare the ground for construction – will be more than compensated for. In order to protect and relocate biodiversity, a large number of measures have been provided for during the construction phase – the relocation of the hairy wood ant and orchids, the preservation of a natural corridor on the site, etc. We are working on these things with the port and independent organizations that are responsible for the conservation of nature.

  • 13. When will Project ONE be completed?

    Before we can start building on Project ONE, we must first finalize the design of the installation and obtain the necessary permit from the government.

    We expect to be able to start building early 2023, and that the installations will go into operation by mid 2026.

  • 14. What exactly will Project ONE do? Which raw material?

    Project ONE will convert ethane to ethylene. Ethylene is one of chemistry’s main building blocks from which many products are constructed that are essential in everyday life: building materials, medical applications, clothing, windmill components, light packaging materials, lightweight parts for cars, and many more.

  • 15. Will shale gas come to Antwerp?

    No. Ethane – one of the raw materials for Project ONE – is a by-product of natural gas, which we import to Antwerp by ship. These ships are also powered by ethane gas and not by heavy fuel oil. Using gas as a fuel eliminates sulfur emissions and reduces CO2 emissions compared to conventional fuels.

    Is shale gas sustainable?

    Shale gas does draw criticism. Still, shale gas is a natural gas that heats homes and other buildings, primarily in the United States. Before it can be used to provide heat, the ethane must be removed. This ethane (which would otherwise be burned on-site in the atmosphere) is an important raw material for Project ONE.

    INEOS purchases this by-product only from recognized and reputed players, who ensure that the gas is extracted under the most stringent conditions.

    An independent study compared the emissions from an ethane installation, such as in Project ONE, to an installation that uses crude oil (a so-called naphtha installation). The study, which ranged from the source to the processing, storage, transport and production, showed that Project ONE’s ethane plant emits less than half of the CO2 for the same production.

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

    INEOS considers it very important to limit the impact on the environment and the surrounding area. This is being closely monitored during the design of the installation. Where possible, we’re taking mitigating measures such as installing catalytic units on all chimneys to limit NOx emissions to very low levels, or using hydrogen as fuel resulting in CO2 emissions which are not even half of the 10% best performing European steam crackers. The impacts are examined objectively in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The environmental impact statement of the entire project will map out the full impact of Project ONE.

  • 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 objectively in the environmental impact report, to ensure that they satisfy all legal regulations. Measurements are also being taken regularly during the operation of the installations.

    Because the site’s final products will be transferred by pipeline to other sites in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, this transport does not require ships or 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 removes flammable gases safely. 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 growth in an industrial zone by planting high-quality trees and greenery in protected nature reserves. The protected animal species will also find a new home there.

    To make this planting successful, we are working with experts from recognized nature associations.

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

    Project ONE does not produce pellets. The ethylene and by-products produced are gases that, under high pressure in the liquid state, will be transported mainly through pipelines to other industrial sites in the port, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. A portion will be cooled and liquefied to be transported by ship to the final destination.

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

    The basic chemicals produced are building block of numerous products from our daily life. Think of insulation materials, pipes, lightweight materials that reduce car fuel consumption and emissions, medical applications such as disinfectant hand gel, syringes, intravenous bags, MRI scanning devices and sterile packaging, wind turbines, 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 employing the latest technologies for Project ONE, INEOS is striving to keep the impact on the climate as low as possible.

    CO2

    By using the latest technologies, Project ONE’s ethane cracker will emit, on average, less than half of the CO2 than the best performing comparable installations in Europe. The hydrogen which is generated as a by-product during the ethylene production process is used as carbon-free fuel: hydrogen does not release any CO2 when burned. As a result we can significantly reduce the use of natural gas. Our record low footprint raises the bar for older, polluting installations (for example, via the European Union Emissions Trading System). Project ONE emits 0.29 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of product or just 43% of the current EU ETS benchmark value of 0.68 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of product. When Project ONE comes online, it will tighten the EU ETS benchmark value by around 14%. Steam crackers in the EU ETS system that do not meet this lower benchmark value will have to buy additional emission rights to cover emissions or take more emission reduction measures.

    Buyers of the ethylene produced by Project ONE will save 2 million tonnes of CO2 per annum as they no longer need to rely on the ethylene from older and more polluting plants.

    Also, the products made from ethylene will ultimately save twice as much CO2 as was necessary for their production – because they make end-products (e.g. cars) lighter and with longer lifetimes.

    Carbon capturing

    We’re also providing space on the Project ONE site for the collection of CO2. The current technology for capturing CO2 from flue gases 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 CO2 capture much more efficient. A study is currently being carried out to realize such a CO2 discharge infrastructure in the port of Antwerp. INEOS is working on this with other players from the port of Antwerp via the Antwerp@C consortium.

    Energy consumption

    Project ONE guarantees very high energy-efficiency. The maximum recovery of heat and cold flows ensures lower energy consumption. For example, the cold energy of the cryogenic ethane supplied, and the heat of the furnaces of the ethane installations, will be reused elsewhere in the process and less external steam will have to be generated.

    Carbon-efficiency                

    In the design of the ethane cracker, 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 almost 90% – which is much higher than in installations that use crude oil instead of ethane or propane. This means that barely 10% of the carbon present in the raw materials is converted into CO2, the remainder 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 not just words. With Project ONE, we are building one of the most energy-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.

    In November 2020 we announced that we are in the process of developing a roadmap for all Antwerp sites to become climate neutral by 2050 at the latest. Focus of the roadmap is on ‘at source’ solutions such as changing to green power and clean heat, reusing hydrogen and CO2, further investment in electrification and where appropriate switching to recycled or bio-feedstock .”

    The INEOS commitment takes into account the EUs ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. 

    The route to a climate-neutral future runs in stages. Project ONE is already making a fundamental difference by making maximum use of the very best of what today’s technology offers. Customers supplied with ethylene from Project ONE can reduce their CO2 emissions by 2 million tonnes per year because they are no longer dependent on ethylene from more polluting plants. And our ambition reaches even further. We have incorporated flexibility into our plants to allow us to reduce our footprint further and integrate other technologies as soon as they are mature. For example, it is technologically possible to feed the cracking ovens and steam generators of Project ONE entirely with hydrogen, provided that enough green hydrogen is available. With the investments currently being made in hydrogen technology, including in Flanders, it looks like this will be possible in future. Our design also has room for a carbon capture installation, so this option can also be utilised.

  • 24. Will Project ONE create jobs?

    Certainly. Project ONE will:

    • create millions of man-hours during the construction.
    • create 450 jobs when Project ONE is operational of which 300 high-qualified full time jobs and 150 permanent contractor jobs on site.
    • create 5 jobs at other companies for each employee on the Project ONE site.
  • 25. Can I work for INEOS?

    INEOS is always looking for motivated colleagues. Visit our website regularly to look for vacancies and other opportunities.

  • 26. Is working in the chemistry industry safe?

    The safety of our employees is our top priority. With our ‘Zero Accidents’ objective, we are doing our utmost to reduce the number of accidents to zero. And we’re well on our way to achieving this: in 2019, we scored 0.16 on the OSHA scale. This is the equivalent of 1 incident per 700 years worked.

  • 27. Does Project ONE’s output go mainly to disposable products?

    Project ONE produces ethylene, a gaseous substance that is an essential building block of chemistry. On the basis of these substances, further down the production chain, products will be made that are inextricably linked to our contemporary life. Just think about it:

    • Personal care products such as contact lenses, eyewear, toothbrushes, and cosmetics.
    • Electronics such as mobile phones, computers, and coffee machines.
    • Essential utilities and applications for our homes such as pipes for transporting drinking water or gas,  window frames and doors.
    • Healthcare applications such as mouth masks, face shields, syringes, medications and blood/plasma bags.
    • Things we use in our leisure time, such as sports equipment and clothing, outdoor furniture, and a TV.
    • Products that contribute to a sustainable society such as insulation materials, lightweight parts for cars, solar panels, lubricants for wind turbines, and wind turbine blades.

    Most of the INEOS Group’s production is for such applications in construction, automotive, household appliances and the like. About one quarter of the final products go in to packaging for the food industry.

    Packaging is sometimes vilified, but it is important to improve the safety and shelf life of food products. For example, the packaging of a cucumber improves its shelf life by about 11 days. Because there is less food waste, the packaging saves 5 times as much CO2 as was needed to produce it. Alternatives to plastic packaging, such as paper, glass and aluminum, use more resources such as energy and water, and may also require the use of plastics to deliver the required performance. This can result in higher CO2 emissions (see TED-talk by UGent professor Kim Ragaert).

  • 28. Shouldn’t we focus more on recycling instead of producing new plastics?

    INEOS is strongly committed to reduce plastic waste. It is not the plastics themselves that are the problem, but the fact that they are thrown away in to the environment, sent to landfill, or incinerated. According to INEOS’ vision, we have to handle plastics with care, precisely because they are such valuable materials. That’s why INEOS invests heavily to support the recycling of plastics. In this way, all polymers produced by us (such as polyethylene and polypropylene produced on the basis of Project ONE-output) can be fully recycled.

    INEOS is investing to support different forms of recycling. We develop products that lend themselves to mechanical recycling so that recycled material can also be used for high-quality applications, and we incorporate recycled plastics in to our products. We invest in the development of our processes to use bio-based raw materials or waste plastics as raw materials for new plastics. Advanced recycling (also called chemical recycling) is a developing technology. As we commercialize this technology, we will be able to produce more plastic from recycled products, creating a market for waste plastic.

    All of this fits in with our commitment of the INEOS Pledge to transform plastics into a valuable material. In doing so, we want to integrate 325,000 tons of recycled products back into production processes by 2024, make 100 percent of our plastics recyclable, and offer a plastic mix with up to half recycled plate. This in cooperation with the brands that market these plastics.

    Here are some concrete examples:

    Upgrading plastics for successful combination with recycled material Each time a polymer (such as polyethylene and polypropylene) is mechanically recycled, the quality of the material decreases. This is why these recyclates are usually used in low performance and rather inexpensive end applications such as flower pots and garbage bags. The goal of INEOS is to increase the value of recycled polymers so that they are equivalent to ‘virgin’ plastics. In our research centre in Neder-Over-Heembeek we have succeeded in making products that meet the demanding performance characteristics required by our customers, whilst containing more than 50% of recycled plastic. These products are now fully commercialised under our Recyl-IN brand name.

    Advanced (chemical) recycling of polyethylene and polypropylene. Instead of making plastics based on naphtha (from crude oil), INEOS has started a partnership with the recycling company Plastic Energy to break down used polyethylene and polypropylene to their base molecules so that they can be reused as a new feedstock. After first successful tests in 2020, INEOS and Plastic Energy are now developing a project to build a new installation that can carry out this process on a large scale.

    Depolymerization of styrene. INEOS Styrolution has already made a breakthrough for chemical recycling by depolymerizing polystyrene waste: laboratory scale production of new polystyrene based on recycled styrene monomers. For example, old yoghurt jars can be reused half in new products. This happens at the site of Styrolution in Antwerp, the largest polystyrene installation in Europe. Soon a partnership will be entered into with waste processing company INDAVER whereby polystyrene waste will be recycled into pure styrene monomers. Already in 2022, a demo plant will be operational that will be able to recycle 15,000 tons. This project fits in Styrolution’s efforts to make plastic products based on waste or renewable raw materials.

  • 29. Is there a demand for the products of Project ONE?

    The market forecasts an average annual growth in demand for ethylene of 4% over the next five years. According to IHS Market forecasts, ethylene will be imported into Europe for the next 5 years.

    Even in the International Energy Agency (IEA) sustainable scenario[1], the demand for basic chemicals such as ethylene and propylene will increase by about 40 percent between 2017 and 2050. This is under the influence of a rising world population, rising prosperity and social evolutions (e.g. less demand for disposable plastics such as plastic bags, more demand for electric car components).

    This sustainable scenario, with fewer emissions and more recycling, reduces the demand for new basic chemicals by 7 percent compared to the baseline scenario. Considerable efforts in recycling are therefore useful, but not sufficient to meet market demand. The production of new ethylene and propylene, as Project ONE will do, provides an answer to society’s need for these basic building blocks. 

    1 The Clean Tech Scenario (CTS) by 2050 includes a 45% reduction in direct CO2 emissions from chemistry despite a 40% increase in demand for basic chemicals. It also includes a (nearly) tripling of the global average collection rate of plastic waste.

  • 30. Are there no alternative raw materials for the shale gas from the United States that Project ONE will use?

    The ethane that Project ONE will convert into ethylene is a by-product of shale gas extraction in the United States. The ethane is extracted from the natural gas which is used for heating in the United States, among other things.

    Thanks to this ethane, and to state-of-the-art production techniques, Project ONE’s CO2 emissions will be less than half those of comparable installations (these run mainly on oil (naphtha) or coal). This will allow us to meet the growing demand for ethylene and propylene worldwide, with much lower emissions than if we were dependent on oil.

    In that context, reference is also sometimes made to methane emissions from shale gas extraction. However, shale gas also scores better than naphtha in this respect. New research shows that there is a 0.27 percent loss of methane during the extraction of gas and oil in the North Sea, while this is between 0.06 percent and 0.04 percent for American producers of shale gas, such as EQT, Antero and Range Resources.

    In addition, the supply of ethane from conventional natural gas extraction in the North Sea is depleting. Ethane as a by-product of shale gas extraction is available and can be valorized by the chemical industry as a raw material for ethylene production. Previously, it was often flared off (burned at source) because it had no commercial use and because of its high calorific properties, it had to be isolated from the methane gas massively used for heating in the USA. Naphtha (crude oil) is an alternative to ethane. A comparison of ethylene production ‘from well to fence’ based on naphtha versus ethane shows that the latter has a footprint that is substantially lower than that of naphtha.

    Today, there is no fully-fledged biological alternative to ethane. At least 2.5 million tons of ethanol is needed to produce one and a half million tons of ethylene.  By way of comparison: sugar beets produce 5000 liters of ethanol per hectare or 3.95 metric tons of ethanol/hectare. In other words, 633 000 ha of sugar beet are needed to feed an ethane cracker to produce one and a half million ethylene. According to Statbel data, the Flemish Region had 622 000 ha of agricultural land at its disposal in 2019. This integral area would not be sufficient on its own and would mean that this land could not be used for food production. 

    In time, for example, propane from biodiesel could become an alternative to propylene production. Project ONE could use this as feedstock. But in order to provide Project ONE with sufficient biopropane, for example, you would have to plant at least 7,500 km2 of land, that is more than half of Flanders, with rapeseed. Given the unavailability of such quantities, biodiesel is currently not a robust alternative.

  • 31. Should INEOS not produce more bio-based plastics?

    The introduction of bio-based raw materials for the production of plastics is a very promising evolution. Although it is not yet possible to make all plastics from bio-based raw materials, we are fully committed to increasing the amount of bio-based raw materials we use, especially in Belgium:

    • Biovyn, production of PVC from biomass: at our INOVYN site in Jemeppe, we have made it possible to produce PVC with ethylene produced from a biomass that does not compete with food production. In this way, there is a reduction of CO2 emissions of more than 90 percent compared to production from fossil raw materials. This supply chain has been fully certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), an independent third party.
    • Bio-attribution of renewable raw materials: ‘bio-attribution’ expresses the extent to which fossil raw materials have been replaced by renewable or bio-based raw materials. Ineos O&P North Lillo offers a range of Bio-Attributed Olefins and Polyolefins, based on renewable bio-based raw materials that do not compete with food production. Their supply chain is fully certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), an independent third party.
  • 32. Will Project ONE receive government support?

    We have to make a distinction between subsidies and guarantees.

    • Subsidies. To date, no subsidies for Project ONE have been paid out by the government. There are, however, a number of support possibilities from the Flemish government for specific efforts. INEOS must meet the conditions like any other company, including the European and Flemish regulations.
    • If in the future there will be subsidies, this will be for training and education of employees or the limitation of the environmental impact, and this according to the government regulations that are the same for all companies. In this way, INEOS would be able to claim one-off support from the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Vlaio) for Project ONE totaling a maximum of 8 million euros.
    • In addition, INEOS can receive up to 8 million euros annually for its research and development efforts on all its sites (not only Project ONE).
    • Guarantees. This is a system in which the Flemish government (via PMV) supports certain financial risks of companies. These are also transparent and uniform procedures for all companies that want to make use of them. They are market-based financial instruments that the government uses to make crucial investments in the economic fabric of Flanders succeed. Here, too, conditions are attached for the company, for example in terms of employment in Flanders. Such guarantees are also internationally customary financial instruments for projects of this nature.
  • 33. Does the arrival of Project ONE add new virgin plastic capacity? Doesn’t this put a brake on the growth of the recycling market?

    The installations of Project ONE will produce the basic building blocks of chemistry, ethylene and propylene, not plastic pellets. As a result, no additional capacity of new plastics will be put on the market. By producing these building block materials itself, INEOS replaces the ethylene and propylene that it would otherwise have to buy from other producers of ethylene and propylene with a lower ecological footprint.

    It is important to know that virgin (new) plastics can be an ‘enabler’ in the recycling process: they enable the addition of recycled material.

    Polyolefins, for example, are among the easiest plastics to recycle. It is true that 100% recycled polyolefins do not perform well without the addition of ‘virgin’ (new) plastics. Every time a polymer is recycled, there is a loss of intrinsic properties (mechanical properties such as impact resistance, tensile strength, etc,…). As a result, recycled plastic is usually used for the production of lower quality and rather low-end applications such as flower pots, garbage bags, simple irrigation pipes (downcycling).               In combination with high performance virgin polymers, recycled plastic can then be used in a much wider range of applications with higher value

    The goal of INEOS is to enable recycled plastic to access a much larger market, with much higher value.

    How do we do this? We have developed a high performance booster polymer in our R&D center in Neder-Over-Heembeek that fully compensates the loss of properties of recycled material. This enables us to bring compounds on the market that consist of 50% recycled polymer and that match the quality of a 100% new product.

    The other problem with recycled plastics is that they may have become contaminated during use, waste collection, and processing. Therefore, recycled plastics are not suitable for medical applications, or food and beverage packaging. As a result, new polymer is still needed to keep medical, food and beverage products safely packaged. But even for these very demanding applications, we are working on a solution with advanced recycling in which plastic waste is converted back into the raw material (monomers)… By heating plastic waste at a high temperature (pyrolysis) the raw material for polyolefins can be released. However, this is a major technical challenge and still under development.