Tremendous boost for port and region
Project ONE, pioneering role for Antwerp
In recent years, the chemical industry in Antwerp and in Europe has been in steady decline due to a lack of investment and competition from China, the rest of Asia and the US. No one has built a new ethane cracker in Europe in more than 20 years, until now. INEOS’ investment will address this decline. We will be employing state-of-the-art technology that is 20 years more advanced than other comparable installations in Europe.
Our investment will raise the bar for our peers, in terms of both technologies and a step change in environmental performance. We are pioneering chemical manufacturing in the Port of Antwerp that will renew and strengthen our sector.
Prosperity for the port and the region
With our multi-billion investment in Project ONE, we are breathing life back into Antwerp’s chemical industry.
- Extra jobs
- Engineers, construction professionals, technicians and professionals with Bachelor of Science degrees
- Up to 15 million man-hours during the construction
- 450 permanent and high-value jobs when the site is operational
- And for each Project ONE job five more will be created in associated companies in the supply and service chain
- Support for the local economy
In delivering Project ONE, it makes sense, where possible, to make use of local and existing partnerships with engineering firms, sub-contractors, scaffold builders, maintenance and cleaning services, catering.
- A boost in competitiveness for the Port and the region
We believe our significant investment and commitment to the area will have a positive effect on the region’s competitiveness and may attract other investments
Flemish engineers are already helping to build Project ONE. And we are looking for more engineers, as well as operators to be pre-trained at our other production sites.
Project ONE – Why in Antwerp?
What is Project ONE?
With Project ONE, INEOS is bringing one of Europe’s most innovative and advanced olefin (ethylene and propylene) complexes in Europe to the port of Antwerp. We will produce ethylene and propylene utilising the very latest technologies and the most energy-efficient ethane cracker and PDH unit in Europe.
Choosing Antwerp as a location was a very conscious decision. We have a special relationship with the region: our business started here in 1998 and we now have seven separate production sites in and around Antwerp: Lillo(2), Geel, Doel, Zandvliet (2) and Zwijndrecht.
Why Antwerp is ideal for us:
- Strategic location: deep-sea access and connections to major olefin pipelines in north-western Europe
- Excellent relations with the port community
- With highly skilled, well-trained employees and excellent partnerships, we can fully focus on innovation
INEOS’ birthplace is Zwijndrecht in the Port of Antwerp – where we started our first activities in 1998.
“Project ONE is one of Antwerp’s most ground-breaking projects ever.”Bart Janssens, Operations Representative
This is how we’re going to limit Project ONE’s impact
Being a good neighbour is very important to us. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to ensure that our operations have as little effect on you as possible.
We will do this by:
- Installing equipment with the very latest technologies on a much smaller environmental footprint.
- Listening to our local residents’ views during participation and consultation events.
- We are a member of the Chemistry Advisory Board – which brings chemical companies from the right bank of the Scheldt together with residents of the surrounding municipalities of Stabroek, Berendrecht, Zandvliet and Lillo.
- Following the notification of the Project ONE environmental impact assessment, we organized a voluntary public participation procedure. This enabled residents and interest parties to provide suggestions regarding our Project and the methodology and content of the environmental impact assessment (EIA).
We are in compliance with the legal obligation to submit an environmental permit application. This includes an environmental impact assessment, an environmental safety report, and an energy study.
The environmental impact assessment provides a detailed study of the effects on the environment of our new installations and mitigation measures.
What about CO2 emissions?
Once commissioned, the plants will produce more than two million tons of olefins (ethylene and propylene) per year. In doing so, we will emit less than half of the CO2 emissions of the average of the top five steam crackers in Europe with the lowest carbon footprint.
- We will recover hydrogen in the ethane and propane plants and re-use it as a fuel, displacing hydrocarbon fuels.
- Propylene manufacture: We are designing the plant to install as much electrically-powered equipment as possible to reduce direct emissions of CO2 and to utilise renewable sources of electricity.
- Project ONE is designed to be ‘carbon capture ready’. Together with seven other leading companies in the Port of Antwerp, we are investigating the feasibility of a CO2 infrastructure for CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage).
Read more about how we are significantly reducing our carbon footprint here.
What about light and noise?
Here, too, we are striving to reduce the effect on our local neighbours to as low as possible.
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.
- In design, we are minimising the need for the use of lights on our tall structures.
- To reduce visible flares from the elevated stacks, we are installing a low enclosed ground flare for both the ethane and the PDH installations – where small residual gas flows can be burned under well-controlled conditions.
What about transportation?
We will reduce transport of equipment by road as much as possible, and thereby the associated emissions and need to utilise the local road network.
- During the construction phase both the ethane cracker and the PDH unit will be built in modular form remotely from the site. The modules will be brought to the construction site via ship into the docks.
- Raw materials will be delivered by ship.
- Our finished ethylene and propylene products will be mainly exported via pipeline: this is the safest and most efficient way to transport these gases to our customers.
The land on which we are going to build Project ONE has always been designated for this purpose. If we don’t build on that land, the Port of Antwerp will give it an industrial purpose anyway. So, we are expanding the port within its current terrain.
Over time, wild vegetation has established itself in unmanaged areas of the industrial site. We will remove this vegetation and compensate far in excess of the removed amount by the planting of at least 55 hectares of trees in areas especially designated for forestation. This is equivalent of twice the size of Middelheim Park.
In addition, to ensure their continued existence over the long-term, new habitats will be found or created for all protected species encompassed in the area designated for Project ONE.
Safe in Antwerp
Safety – an absolute top priority
Safety is at the heart of everything we do. Our very strict approach to Safety focuses on 3 pillars, inside and outside our facilities: process safety, human behaviour, and product safety.
Our employees and contractors:
- receive extensive safety training.
- are part of safety teams.
- make suggestions to continuously improve our safety standards and procedures.
We expect our employees and contractors to adhere to our 20 major safety principles.
Excellent safety record
Our strong focus on safety and ‘zero injuries’ is delivering results. In 2019, the global INEOS Group achieved an excellent safety record: the equivalent of only 1 accident per 700 years worked! That’s even better than an office based environment such as the banking sector.
And Project ONE?
It is at the top of our list too. All employees and contractors involved in Project ONE will adhere to strict safety standards and procedures. It starts from the tender process. We will only select partners who pay as much attention to health and safety in the workplace as we do.
And when we are operational? Of course, safety is a top priority then as well!
- We are building our manufacturing plants for reliability, reducing the need to shut down and start up and thereby reduces the instances of any associated flaring
- We are building storage tanks to the highest industry standards, double casing and with outer tanks of reinforced concrete.
- The ethylene and propylene we manufacture will be transported via pipelines, the safest transportation mode.
Once constructed, we will use drones to inspect the 105-metre-high column. This eliminates the need for people to climb it. Much safer, right?