US shale gas going to Scotland this year

Posted: April 1, 2016 by oldbrew in Energy, Shale gas

Grangemouth plant [credit: Ineos]

Grangemouth plant [credit: Ineos]

Petrochemicals get overlooked sometimes in discussions about so-called fossil fuels, but their importance in modern life is enormous (plastics, man-made fibres etc.).

Scotland’s energy sector is in line for a major boost as Ineos announced it will reopen a second production line at Grangemouth. The company has successfully completed operational trials as it prepares to receive shale gas ethane from the USA.

Ineos said it has successfully completed trials on the unit eight years after it was mothballed.

The KG ethylene cracker was unable to operate at full capacity but US ethane will be used as a supplementary feed when deliveries to the plant begin in the autumn.

Gordon Milne, operations director at Ineos Grangemouth, said the move will take the facility into the “premier league of European petrochemical plants”.

He said: “With the successful completion of the Train 2 trial we are now in great shape to receive shale gas from the US and to finally run the Grangemouth plant at full rates.”

The project will see Ineos acquire gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania.

Source: Scottish Shale Gas Revolution Moves Closer To Reality | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

About the Ethane Supply Project at INEOS Grangemouth, Scotland

– Scotland’s biggest manufacturing complex
– TGE Gas Engineering constructed a 40 metre high ethane storage tank
– This is Europe’s biggest ethane storage tank
– The roof was successfully raised on the 10th July
– 60,000 cubic metre capacity
– It can store 33,000 tonnes of liquid gas
– New docks, and a new pipeline network has been built to receive the gas
– Shale gas will arrive in the second half of 2016 in new Dragon class ethane carriers

Source: Europetrole

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    The hypocrite Sturgeon is happy to see shale gas create jobs in Scotland, as long as she doesn’t risk votes by having the gas produced in her voters back yard.

  2. oldbrew says:

    The plant’s chief executive John McNally said: “Bringing the site back into profitability is the best way to secure our future here in Scotland.

    “We know that ethane from US shale gas has transformed US manufacturing and we are now a step closer to seeing this advantage being brought to here to Grangemouth.”

    What is ethane?

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Ethane liquifies much easier than methane, so shipping will be easier (less energy to liquify it, less cold in transit so less cost to keep it liquid).

    “Petro”chemicals really ought to be called Carbon Chemicals… They can be made from any carbon source, even garbage. Only the cost of feedstock and conversion steps matter. Many were made from trees and coal prior to the use of oil, and more recently, natural gas. Rayon and the “viscose” sponge used to wash your dishes are both from cellulose, I.e. trees.

    I’m glad the Scotts are getting a boost from US fracking. Do remember, though, that we don’t need to save oil for making plastics…

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    1951 was the year that more chemicals began to be sourced from oil rather than coal. Natural gas came on the scene later. They are converting ethane to ethylene (and hydrogen?) which is a much more versatile base for chemical reactions.

  5. E M Smith easier to liquify because the boiling point of ethane is not as low. Methane CH4 has a BP of -161.4C. Ethane H3C-CH3 has a BP -88.6. Ethanol H3C-CH2(OH) is the alcohol in your whiskey. It has a BP of 78.4C
    Ethylene H2C=CH2 has a BP -103.9C. With the double bond it can be polymerised to make polyethylene and add chlorine to make PVC etc.
    Propane H3C-CH2-CH3 is the main consitutent of LPG used for your BBQ It has a BP -42.2 Butane H3C-CH2-CH2-CH3 is the fuel in lighters and is added to petrol for easier starting. The BP is -0.6.
    Note the element carbon C is the most important element of all organic material. When one burns (or oxidise) all the above molecules the result is carbon dioxide CO2 and water H2O
    Note the formula for ethanol. It is already partly oxidised and is an inefficient fuel. Tax it the same as petrol or even the higher rate in your whiskey or gin and see its use in cars disappear.