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Government finances Scottish oil refinery

18 Jul 2014

Grangemouth plant has received a £230 million loan guarantee from the UK Government, in what some have said could be a political move just weeks before the Scottish referendum.

The plant owner Ineos is set to build Europe’s largest ethane storage tank, with the loan also allowing the construction of an import terminal to process ethane from shale gas shipped from the US.

Chairman of Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, said: ‘Without doubt, this is one of the most important infrastructure projects of recent times in Scotland.

‘Our ability to import US shale gas underpins the future of manufacturing at Grangemouth and across many businesses in Scotland’.

He continued: ‘It is a vital step towards preserving the long-term future of the Grangemouth site and those businesses that depend upon its continued presence in Scotland’.

Grangemouth has faced an uncertain future for some time, with the possibility of closing most prominent in the news after a dispute with the workers’ union Unite. Ineos says it has invested £300 million as part of the long-term plan to keep the site open, and allow for the import of shale gas by 2016.