The investment’s spearhead on Escaut’s right bank is the building of a “cracker”: 1.7 billion for a plant that converts ethane into ethylene gas, one of the key basic elements in the chemical sector. It would be the first time in twenty years that a cracker would be built on the European continent.
The investment would create 500 new jobs. During the construction phase – which should take four to five years – the project could involve up to 3,000 people. This is the biggest investment into new factories in INEOS’s history. This mega-investment also enables Antwerp, home to the largest chemical cluster in the world, after Houston, in regaining a prominent place on the world map of chemistry as well as consolidating the sector’s anchorage.