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Ineos is a privately owned UK multinational chemicals company headquartered in London, UK, and with registered offices in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK and London, United Kingdom. It is the top chemicals company in the world as measured by sales revenue currently around $90 billion. Jim Ratcliffe is the founder, Chairman and 60 percent shareholder.
|Private limited company UK|
|Founder||Sir Jim Ratcliffe|
|Products||Chemical substances, petrochemicals, plastics|
|Revenue||US$ 85 billion (2017); |
EBITDA = €4.3 billion
Number of employees
Ineos is organised into around 20 standalone business units, each with its own board.
The name Ineos is derived from Inspec Ethylene Oxide Specialities, a previous name of the business. It also stems from one Latin and two Greek words that founder Jim Ratcliffe and his two sons found when searching for a company name. "Ineo" is Latin for a new beginning, "Eos" is the Greek goddess of dawn and "neos" means something new and innovative. As a result, the name Ineos represents the "dawn of something new and innovative". Jim Ratcliffe, chief executive of Ineos, in May 2018 topped the Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune of £21.05 billion, making him the UK's wealthiest person.
Inspec had been formed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, previously a director of US private equity group Advent International, and John Hollowood in 1992 to undertake a management buy-in of British Petroleum's (BP) chemicals arm. In 1995 Inspec bought BP's ethylene oxide and glycol business for £78 million. Ineos was subsequently established as a company in 1998 by Inspec director Ratcliffe to buy-out Inspec's ethylene oxide facility in Antwerp, Belgium. The £84 million buy-out was funded by Scottish investment house Murray Johnstone (£10 million), Ineos management (£1.5 million), and investment bank BT Alex Brown (£72.5 million raised through junk bonds).
There have been three distinct phases of Ineos's growth. The first spanned over ten years, with Ineos acquiring 22 companies between 1998 and 2008. The most notable of these was the purchase of Innovene, the olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary of BP, in October 2005 for $9 billion and ICI's commodity chemicals business in 2001. The second phase between 2008 and 2010 saw a period of consolidation as the company tackled the impact of the global recession. As production of consumer goods, cars and construction fell during this period, the company saw sales and earnings reduce. During this period a major competitor LyondellBasell filed for bankruptcy. Some predicted a similar fate for Ineos but the company emerged from this period intact. Since 2011 the company has continued to grow through a series of strategic joint ventures, the largest of which was formed with PetroChina, combining Ineos's Refining interests at Grangemouth, in Scotland, and Lavéra near Martigues (about 30 miles west of Marseille), in France, with PetroChina's access to upstream raw materials. The 50:50 joint venture which completed in June 2011 is called Petroineos. In the same month, Ineos and BASF combined Styrenics businesses to form another 50:50 partnership, Styrolution. Ineos's growth has continued through this period, expanding production in the US and China. Most recently Ineos announced a joint venture with Solvay bringing together their European ChlorVinyls businesses.
Ineos's heritage is in a number of well-known blue chip chemical companies. These include Amoco, BASF, Bayer, Borealis, BP, Degussa, Dow Chemical Company, Enichem, Erdölchemie, Hoechst, ICI, Innovene, Lanxess, Monsanto, Norsk Hydro and Solvay. The company was formed in 1998 to affect a management buyout of the former BP petrochemicals assets in Antwerp, Belgium. Since then, it has expanded by purchasing several other businesses. Several of its divisions formerly belonged to BP, and others that have been divested by large companies such as Amoco, BASF, ICI, Dow Chemical, Solvay and UCB, as they have looked to focus more closely on their main product lines. In October 2005 Ineos agreed to purchase Innovene, BP's olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary, which had an estimated 2005 turnover of US$25 billion, for $9 billion. The deal, which was completed on 14 December 2005, roughly quadrupled Ineos's turnover, which was previously around $8 billion.
In 2007 Ineos formed a joint venture with Lanxess and created INEOS ABS, comprising Lanxess's activities in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene production, located in Tarragona. INEOS paid €35 million in a first tranche. In March 2010 Ineos Healthcare terminated its drug development programme for commercial reasons.
In February 2011 Ineos Bio broke ground on a landmark advanced biofuels facility in Florida. "INEOS Bio’s biorefinery will have the capacity to produce 8 million gallons of ethanol and 6 megawatts (gross) of electricity per year." "The INEOS Bio process can produce ethanol and renewable energy from numerous non-food feedstocks, including construction and municipal solid waste, forestry and agricultural waste." In July 2013 Ineos Bio announced that the Florida plant is producing cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale and claim to be the first in the world to do so using this new technology.
On 23 October 2013 INEOS announced the closure of its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth, Scotland, following a dispute with the Unite trade union over pensions and an attempt to impose a wage freeze and new contract on the workforce. However, by 25 October 2013 the union gave in to the closure threats, and agreed to all Ineos's demands meaning the plant would stay open and strike-free for three years and in September 2016 the company completed a new headquarters building at Grangemouth as part of a "site rejuvenation plan".
In April 2017, Ineos reached an agreement to buy the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea from BP for $250 million. The sale included terminals at Dalmeny and Kinneil, a site in Aberdeen, and the Forties Unity Platform.
Ineos provides products for many markets including: Fuels and Lubricants (23.3%), Packaging and Food (18.5%) and Construction (16.1%). Other markets include Automotive & Transport, White Goods & Durables, Pharmaceutical & Agrochemical and Textiles. The majority of Ineos's geographic earnings are distributed across Germany (16.8%), USA (16.1%), UK (12.3%), France (11.6%) and Benelux (10.8%).
Ineos is involved in renewable energy and is one of the world's leading pioneers in the development of generating sustainable energy from waste material.
Ineos reportedly runs operations with minimal head office management, feeling that "work teams" are better suited for handling of the workflow day to day, without middle-management.
In November 2014, Ineos announced plans to invest up to £640m in shale gas exploration in the UK. The company plans to use the gas as a raw material for its chemicals plants, including Grangemouth near Falkirk.
Petroineos is a refining and trading joint venture between Ineos and PetroChina formed in 2011. It is Europe's leading independent crude oil refiner, with a turnover of $15 billion. It has two refineries, one in Lavéra, France, and one in Grangemouth, Scotland. The value of the Grangemouth chemicals plant, which Ineos had once valued at 400 million pounds was written down to nothing by them in October 2013 during conflict with the union. Later that month it was reported that PetroChina was unhappy with the return on the billion dollars cash they had paid for a 50% stake in the Grangemouth, Scotland and Lavera, France refineries. According to a Hong Kong business analyst: "The European refineries are pretty much loss making. In future there won't be any similar investments".
Most recently, Solvay and Ineos are to create a 50:50 joint venture which will see them combine their chlorvinyls sites in Europe. This joint venture will become the world's third largest producer of PVC.
Ineos manufactures and distributes a wide range of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products:
|Ammonia/nitric acid *||Ammonia and nitric acid|
|Baleycourt *||Esters, biodiesel, and chlorinated paraffins|
|Chlorotoluenes *||Benzyl alcohol, benzyl chloride, benzaldehyde, benzoyl chloride, benzotrichloride, dibenzyloxide, ortho-chlorobenzyl chloride and ortho-chlorobenzaldehyde|
|Compounds *||PVC compounds|
|Inovyn||Brine, caustic soda, chlorinated solvents, chlorine derivatives, chlorine, EDC, ethylene, propylene, PVC, Recycled PVC and VCM|
|Melamines *||Formaldehyde and melamine formaldehyde resin|
|Nitriles||Acetonitrile, acrylonitrile, ammonium sulfate, hydrogen cyanide and maleic anhydride catalyst|
|Olefins and Polymers Europe||Benzene, butadiene, ethylene, HDPE, LDPE compounds, LDPE, LLDPE, polymerisation Ziegler catalysts, polypropylene, propylene and toluene|
|Olefins and Polymers USA||Butadiene, butane, crude benzene, ethane/propane mix, ethylene, fuel oil, HDPE, mixed butenes, other bottoms liquids, polypropylene, propane, and propylene|
|Oligomers||DIB, the dimer of isobutylene (isoolefins/isoparafins), IA (isoamylene/TAME), linear alpha olefins, poly alpha olefins, polyisobutene, Technikum (cyclopentane, CP70, methylpropadiene)|
|Oxide||Acetate, acetate esters, alkoxilates, alkoxylates, ENB & glycol ethers, EOAs, ethyl acetate, ethylene glycol, ethylene oxide, glycol ethers, oxo alcohols, propylene glycol, and propylene oxide|
|Paraform *||Cyanates, dimethoxymethane, formaldehyde, hexamethylenetetramine, paraformaldehyde, and triallylcyanurate|
|Phenol||Acetone, alpha-methylstyrene (AMS), cumene and phenol|
|Salt *||Granular salt, pure dried vacuum salt, salt tablets, and undried vacuum salt|
|Solvents *||Diisopropyl ether, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, and s-butyl alcohol|
|Styrolution||ABS, AMSAN, ASA Resin, compounded grades, ethylbenzene, general purpose polystyrene, high impact polystyrene, NAS, polyethylbenzene, polystyrene polymers - HIPS, SAN, SBC (StyroFlex), specialty compounding, styrene, and styrene monomer|
|Sulphur Chemicals *||Sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, sulfuric acid, and ultra pure acid|
|Technologies||Licenses world class petrochemical technology for: polyethylene, polystyrene, vinyls, polypropylene, acrylonitrile, chlor-alkali|
|Trading and Shipping||Trades and supplies petrochemical feedstocks, hydrocarbons, energy and carbon credits for both internal and external customers|
|Upsteam Shale||Natural gas, exploration and production of natural gas from on-shore shale deposits. Produces UK gas on the national grid.|
|Upstream Breagh||Supplies natural gas to one in ten UK households.|
*INEOS Enterprises consists of the following sub-businesses: ammonia/nitric acid, Baleycourt, chlorotoluenes, compounds, ethanol, melamines, paraform, salt, solvents and sulphur chemicals.
Industrial relations controversyEdit
In April 2008 INEOS, which was experiencing adverse economic conditions, was at the centre of an industrial relations dispute with Unite over pension entitlements of the workforce at its Grangemouth Refinery, when the company decided to close the final salary pension scheme to new employees. Unite claimed the Grangemouth workers were paid £6,000 less than those at comparable facilities. The 48-hour strike that followed caused panic buying of petrol throughout the country and the Forties production pipeline, a third of Britain's North Sea oil production, being closed. Ineos has been accused by some of buying assets then cutting costs through the introduction of new working practices, lower wages, and terminating pension schemes. According to Ratcliffe, some 65 per cent of salary costs at Grangemouth related to pensions.
Stephen Deans, convener for Unite union at the Grangemouth plant where he worked, and also head of the Falkirk branch of the Labour party, was suspended from his employment at Grangemouth by Ineos in the summer of 2013, while they investigated what they said were accusations he had been using company resources for political campaigning; related to recruitment of Unite members in Ineos workforce to the local Labour branch, where the selection of a new parliamentary candidate was taking place after the de-selection of Eric Joyce. A Labour Party head office investigation into allegations that people had been made new members without them knowing or signing cleared Deans of the accusations, who had been suspended from the Labour party pending the investigation as well as the Unite candidate he was supporting.
Unite said Deans was being subjected to "sinister" treatment, and in October an overtime ban at Grangemouth plant, which according to Ineos had operated at a loss of £150 million per year for the previous four years, started in protest. A 48-hour strike was set for 20 October. Ineos announced the plant would be shut down before the strike and put forward a new deal direct to the workforce, warning that the plant might close permanently if it was rejected. Two-thirds of workers voted against accepting Ineos's proposal, which would have reduced pension, shift pay and redundancy entitlements in addition to a pay freeze. On 23 October Ineos announced the permanent closure of the petrochemical site at Grangemouth. The next day the Unite union reversed its position and agreed to Ineos's proposals, which included an undertaking not to strike for three years. Deans resigned from his job at Grangemouth on 28 October 2013 after INEOS presented its findings to his team.
In 2018, Ineos applied for a test core drilling for shale gas at Woodsetts (United Kingdom). It was welcomed by protests of residents. New plans for drilling at Woodsetts and Harthill had been applied and eventually approved by the Planning Inspectorate.
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- Shale gas opponents protest outside inquiry at Ineos drilling plans
- INEOS Shale disappointed by council's decision on Woodsetts
- New INEOS plans for Woodsetts and Harthill drilling approved