29 Mar INEOS ship brings first US shale gas to Europe
US shale gas arrived in Europe for the first time last week.
The INEOS Intrepid arrived at the company’s petrochemical plant at Rafnes in Norway carrying a shipment of 27,500 cubic metres of US shale gas ethane.
The arrival represents the first time US shale gas has ever been exported and also Europe’s first import.
INEOS plans to eventually use eight gas-carrying ships to create a ‘virtual pipeline’ shipping American ethane to its two petrochemical plants in Norway and Scotland.
“This is a strategically important day for INEOS and Europe,” said Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of INEOS, which has invested US$2bn on the import programme over five years.
“We know that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing and for the first time ever Europe can access this essential energy and raw material source too.”
INEOS’ ethane gas storage facility in Grangemouth, Scotland, is Europe’s largest and the company expects to start shipping to the UK later this year.
“We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years and cost $2 billion, as we begin supply of ethane from shale to our sites in Europe,” added Ratcliffe.
“This is a world first and I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in it. I believe that INEOS is one of very companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off.”