INEOS inks deal to save Grangemouth refinery

INEOS will reopen its Grangemouth refining and petrochemical complex in Scotland after local trade union Unite agreed to the company's survival plan, reports said on Friday.

Unite agreed to terms including no strikes for three years, a move to a modern pension scheme, a pay freeze for three years, and several changes to on-site union agreements, including no full-time union convenors.

INEOS said it will reopen its petrochemicals business with immediate effect while also restarting the oil refinery.

The site had been taken offline in anticipation of a 48-hour walkout beginning October 20. However, INEOS decided to keep the complex shut down after an insufficient number of Grangemouth workers voted in favor of the survival plan.

The updated pensions agreement means that pensions will be built up over the course of an employee’s career, instead of being determined by salary at retirement.

The survival plan also calls for £300m of investment towards the site upgrades, including the building of a gas terminal to bring in shale gas-derived ethane from the US.

"This is a victory for common sense," said Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS Group. "Unite advised employees to reject change and vote for closure. Thank goodness people finally came to their senses. Grangemouth now has a great future."

The petrochemicals complex is wholly-owned by INEOS, while the oil refinery is joint-owned by INEOS and PetroChina.

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