The first shale gas shipment arriving in the UK. (Image via Fleetmon.com)
The first shipment of US shale gas has arrived at Ineos’ refinery at Grangemouth, despite a fresh debate about the future of fracking in the UK.
A tanker carrying 27,500m3 of ethane extracted from reserves beneath Western Pennsylvania in the US arrived on Tuesday 27th September, and is the first fruit of a £1.6bn investment by Ineos.
The ethane, which has travelled 3,500 miles via a ‘virtual pipeline’ of eight tankers to reach Grangemouth, will be transferred to crackers where it will then be converted into ethylene, used in the production of a range of plastic products.
"This is a hugely important day for Ineos and the UK,” said Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos’ Founder and Chairman. “Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing.”
However, the arrival of the gas came days after the Labour party followed its Scottish counterparts in announcing it would ban fracking, the process used to extract shale gas, if it wins the next general election.
There is currently a moratorium in place by the Scottish Government banning fracking, despite the UK Governments pro-fracking stance.