18 Jan - Ineos reschedules Antwerp olefins project, cracker to precede PDH unit
Ineos says it is rescheduling its EUR5-billion ($6 billion) olefins project at Antwerp, Belgium, and will build the planned complex’s ethane cracker before its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant, according to Chemweek.
When it announced the project in January 2019, Ineos said the PDH unit and cracker would be built at the same time with the PDH facility due onstream a year ahead of the cracker.
The decision reflects anticipated demand for ethylene relative to propylene, Ineos says. “There is a growing need for ethylene, and it makes more sense for us to build the cracker first and then the PDH unit,” the company says in a statement. “We are simply rephasing the project.” Ineos confirms that work on the planned complex, called Project One, is "continuing."
Ineos has not provided details of the revised schedule. The company updated CW in mid-2020 on the Antwerp project and said it was at the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase with a final investment decision expected in 2021. The company awarded a FEED contract to SK Engineering & Construction for the 750,000-metric tons/year PDH unit, which will use Lummus Catofin technology.
Land preparation at the Antwerp site was due to begin in mid-2021 with construction scheduled to start later in the year, Ineos said. Completion of the project was expected in 2025.
The planned ethane cracker will have the capacity to produce 1.25 million metric tons/year of ethylene. It will be the first ethylene plant to be constructed in Europe for more than 20 years.
Other companies are planning PDH units in Europe including Borealis, which is also building a 750,000-metric tons/year plant at Antwerp. The Borealis PDH plant was originally due online by the end of 2022, but Borealis told CW last year the schedule was likely to slip because of COVID-19.
As MRC informed earlier, in June, 2019, Ineos announced Antwerp as the location for its new petrochemical investment. The EUR3 billion investment will be the biggest ever made by Ienos and is first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years.