Wednesday 27 February 2019 11:33 am

Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s firm Ineos to pump £1bn into UK’s energy assets

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

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Chemicals company Ineos, owned by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has announced plans to invest £1bn in the UK’s oil and gas assets.

The petrochemicals giant will inject £500m into the Forties pipeline, which carries almost half of Britain’s oil and gas from the North Sea, to extend the pipe’s life into the 2040s.

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Ineos bought the pipeline, which is 44 years old, from BP last year but had to close the system for almost two months to repair a crack in the onshore section.

The announcement comes after Ratcliffe, who is Britain’s wealthiest man and a prominent Brexit supporter, came under fire earlier this month after it was reported that he was planning to save up to £4bn in tax after moving to Monaco.

The company said the latest investment is a show of confidence in the UK at “an uncertain moment for the country”.

In a statement the company said: “INEOS will invest £1bn in the UK in multiple projects designed to ensure its British assets stay world class for a generation.

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“INEOS is a supporter of British manufacturing and this £1bn investment underlines our confidence in our business in the UK.”

Scotland’s Grangemouth oil refinery will also receive an investment of £350m, and the firm will also invest an additional £150m in a new petrochemicals facility in Hull.