The multi-million dollar pound expansion will increase production of the chemical by around 100,000 tonnes a year and will meet increased demands from cosmetics and personal care manufacturers, as well as pharmaceutical and flexible packaging players.
The move is seen as a vote of confidence in the British economy at a time of uncertainty, given that it is still to be determined what the implications will be on the country’s international trade once exiting the European Union is finalised.
Since the results of the June 15th referendum were announced, there was a significant dip in share prices all over the world and the Great British Pound hit a 30-year low against the US dollar, although there has been some rallying in the past week or so.
Believing in British manufacturing
“We believe in British manufacturing and will support it wherever we can. Our Hull plant is at capacity and this extra investment will enable us to significantly increase production that we will sell all over Europe and across the world,” said Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman.
Ineos said that their decision to make the investment was also influenced by its decision to make a $1billion investment to import shale gas from the US to Scotland.
Ethylene produced from this shale gas is a major element of EtAC and a pipeline linking Ineos’s petrochemical plant in Grangemouth with its Oxide facility in Hull will facilitate the supply of this raw material.
What EtAC does...
EtAC is a colourless liquid that has a distinct sweet fruity aroma and is a common ingredient in cosmetics and personal care, as a solvent it is most often linked as one of the main ingredient in nail varnish remover, but is also used in lacquers and nail varnishes.
Likewise, it is also used as a fragrance, and demand for it is high because of its pleasant odour, absence of residue and the fact that it is inexpensive.
“We are the largest producer of EtAC in Europe and we are about to get a lot bigger. Growth in demand for our products is strong and this investment will support our customers’ needs over the long term,” said Graham Beesley, CEO INEOS Oxide.