By THOMAS PENNY and ANDREW NOEL
The UK will guarantee a 230-million-pound ($394 million) loan
for an upgrade of the INEOS petrochemical
plant at Grangemouth
in Scotland, protecting jobs ahead of Septembers
The loan guarantee will allow INEOS to start work immediately
on building Europe
s biggest ethane
storage tank, the Treasury said in a statement.
The Grangemouth guarantee is fantastic news for
Scotlands economic future, and for the UKs energy
security, said Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny
Alexander. Our action is creating the right conditions
for more investment in our infrastructure, helping to build a
stronger economy and a fairer society across the
The loan will secure thousands of jobs, the Treasury said.
The announcement comes as ministers are seeking to press the
benefits of Scotland staying part of the UK ahead of the
Sept. 18 independence referendum. The work is vital if the refinery
is to continue operating
after 2017, the Treasury said.
Alexander, who represents a Scottish district in the House of
Commons, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne have
repeatedly made the economic case for the union.
INEOS, a British company which relocated to Switzerland for
tax purposes, is pioneering the import of cheaper ethane from
the US as North Sea production wanes and higher energy and feedstock
costs squeeze commodity
chemical producers in western Europe
. The Grangemouth plant, the
companys biggest, combines both chemical production and