Scotland’s largest climate polluter Ineos says it is spending more than £1bn in a bid to slash greenhouse emissions at its Grangemouth refinery.
The petrochemical multinational said its Grangemouth operation – which includes oil, chemical and power plants – currently emits around three million tonnes of CO2 per year.
Ineos said it wants all businesses at the Grangemouth site to make and use hydrogen along with using carbon capture mechanisms to store at least one million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
It added its plans will “deliver a reduction in excess of 60 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 through a series of investments, partnerships, and innovative engineering”.
Ineos says it wants to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
Scotland’s Net zero cabinet secretary Michael Matheson welcomed the “significant investment, which demonstrates Ineos’s support for Scotland’s journey to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045.
“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”, he added.
Andrew Gardner, chairman of Ineos Grangemouth, said: “Climate change is one of the most urgent environmental, economic and social issues of our time.
“We’ve set an ambitious plan to achieve net zero by 2045 and today we are announcing the next stage of our road map which includes an investment in excess of £1 billion.”
Five Ineos sites at Grangemouth poured around 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2019, making it the largest climate polluter in the country, according to figures from the Scottish Environment and Protection Agency (Sepa).
The power company SSE ranked as second-worst, with its gas power station at Peterhead emitting around 1.6 million tonnes that year.
Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of Sepa, said: “As Scotland’s environmental watchdog, Sepa has an active and ongoing programme of engagement with Ineos.
“We remain focused on both addressing environmental compliance and in supporting and welcoming transformational innovation and investment wherever it occurs to help Scotland to continue its journey towards net zero.”
Ineos added its plans will create low carbon, hydrogen infrastructure “critical to secure the future of large-scale manufacturing at Grangemouth.”
The refinery at Grangemouth has been operating since 1924 and was one of the first to transform crude oil in the UK. It currently produces a range of fuels including petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG and jet fuel.
The refinery itself is run by Petroineos, a joint venture between Ineos and PetroChina formed in 2011.
Ineos said since acquiring the Grangemouth site in 2005 it has reduced net CO2 by 37 per cent.