British multinational chemicals company INEOS has this week announced its plans to invest £1bn into turning its Grangemouth oil and petrochemicals refinery into a carbon capture and storage-based hydrogen plant – using the CCS tech to make blue hydrogen. The group has also announced its ambition to achieve net zero emissions at the site by 2045, supporting the Scottish Government’s own targets to transition to a low-carbon economy.
“I welcome this significant investment, which demonstrates INEOS’ support for Scotland’s journey to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045,” said Net Zero Secretary Michael Matheson. “This will not only drive forward innovation and diversification to tackle emissions at Grangemouth, but will also support the decarbonisation of other sectors, sites and regions across Scotland.”
The Grangemouth site is one of the most carbon-intensive in Scotland, supplying fuel for airports and service stations across Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England. According to INEOS chairman Andrew Gardner, the Grangemouth site was emitting 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year in 2005 – a figure the group has already managed to cut down to 3 million tonnes, a reduction of 37%. With the new CCS and hydrogen plan this is anticipated to reduce further to below 2 million tonnes.
“Low-carbon hydrogen offers the swiftest decarbonisation route for our industrial sector and today’s commitment by INEOS makes an even stronger case for the UK Government to select the Scottish Cluster, which INEOS partnered with in the summer, to be among the first CCS clusters to be awarded funding through its current cluster sequencing process,” Matheson added.
“Grangemouth, and INEOS itself, already holds a wealth of experience in engineering solutions and hydrogen production, and this new investment holds great potential for the future of Grangemouth, as well as the vital jobs that are located there, as part of our just transition to net zero.”
Scottish CCS project – the Acorn project – will be used to assist the transition to this cleaner fuel source at Grangemouth. This scheme has been set up to help ‘unlock’ CCS and hydrogen infrastructure potential in the country.
As well as developing this blue hydrogen, INEOS has said it will be investing in electrifying key equipment at the site, as well as increasing levels of recycled content in its polymer products as part of its green push.