UK-headquartered multinational chemicals company Ineos is investing €200m in the expansion of its oxide business in Europe to mark its 20th anniversary.
The company announced 13 Sept that it was pumping €150m directly into its Zwijndrecht site in Antwerp, Belgium, where it made its first acquisition in 1998.
Additionally, €50m will be invested in Ineos sites in Cologne, Germany and Lavéra, south of France.
The latest round of investment will focus on growing Ineos’ ethylene oxide storage and distribution, as well as debottlenecking its plants and increase the production of ethylene oxide derivatives for the European market.
The move is ahead of the scheduled start-up of Ineos’ sixth alkoxylation unit in Antwerp at the end of the year.
The company is also upgrading EO production at Lavéra, France to support the growing demand in Europe.
Ethylene oxide is an important raw material for the industrial-scale production of chemicals. OE is used as feedstock to produce ethylene glycol, which is used for production polyester and PET materials amongst others.
In addition to the €200m investment, Ineos also announced that it was buying the Inesco combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the Zwijndrecht site in Antwerp from the German utility company RWE.
The acquisition, said Ineos, was to ensure a "continued and reliable" supply of steam, as a critical feedstock, to its plants on the site as well as its 3rd party co-siting partners.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year, subject to approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities.