INEOS Olefins Belgium has raised €3.5 billion to support the construction and operation of the most environmentally sustainable cracker in Europe.
This is the largest investment in the European chemical sector for a generation. The plant will have the lowest carbon footprint in Europe, three times lower than the average European steam cracker, and less than half that of the 10% best performers in Europe.
The plant also has the capability of operating entirely with low carbon hydrogen as well as room for a carbon capture facility and future electric furnaces.
Jason Meers, CFO INEOS Project ONE, said: “Project ONE is a game changer for Europe. It will bring new opportunities to the chemical cluster in Antwerp as well as strengthen the resilience of the whole of the European chemical sector.”
Supported by 21 commercial banks, the deal validates the strong commercial rationale of the project and its leading environmental characteristics. The debt will be drawn in stages to support the spend profile of the project through to completion.
It comprises €1.5 billion of uncovered debt, €1.2 billion of covered facilities from export credit agencies UKEF, Cesce and SACE; and an €800 million covered tranche of which up to €500 million is guaranteed by Gigarant (a vehicle of the Flemish Government that provides loan guarantees).
Jason Meers, CFO INEOS Project ONE, added: “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and secure this funding. Bringing together such a large number of environmentally focused commercial banks alongside four governmental agencies demonstrates the huge importance of the project.”
The cracker will produce ethylene, which is a vital raw material for a wide range of products essential to our daily lives, from insulation, to lightweight vehicles, plastics for medical, healthcare and food hygiene, as well as technology for renewable energy.
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