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£350m for chemicals plant

Grangemouth gets share of Ratcliffe’s £1bn energy investment

Grangemouth

Grangemouth’s future assured by investment (photo from the air by Terry Murden)


 

Britain’s richest man and tax exile, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is building a £350 million energy plant at Grangemouth as part of a £1 billion investment in the UK oil and chemical industries.

Sir Jim’s company, Ineos, will also spend £500m overhauling the Forties pipeline system, which transports 40% of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas, and £150m in a chemicals plant in Hull.

At Grangemouth, it will develop a new steam and power plant, improving energy efficiency and long-term reliability, said the company.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that Sir Jim, who is an outspoken supporter of Brexit, and two of his key executives could save up to £4bn in tax by leaving the UK.

Ineos moved its headquarters to the Swiss city of Lausanne in 2010 to cut its corporation tax bill, but returned to the UK in 2016.

Jim RatcliffeSir Jim, pictured, said the new investment programme would “ensure that our UK assets continue to be world-class for many years to come.

“At an uncertain moment for the country, Ineos has confidence in its businesses and is committed to continue investing in manufacturing and high-skilled jobs in the UK.”

The Forties pipeline project would “extend the life of the pipeline by at least 20 years, into the 2040s”, the firm said. Ineos said it would overhaul the reliability of the pipelines, including modernising the environmental systems.

The Hull plant will manufacture vinyl acetate monomer, a chemical compound used in making various industrial and consumer products including safety glass and laminated windscreens.

Sir Jim’s £21bn fortune makes him the UK’s richest man. He began acquiring North Sea assets in 2015.

 

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