Project One, the name given to the new ethane cracker to be built by Ineos in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, was supposed to have the lowest carbon footprint of all European crackers; five times better than the worst in Europe and two times better than the best.
But the future of the new cracker now looks tenuous at best after the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes on July 20 revoked the permits issued in December 2021 by the province of Antwerp and the July 2022 permits for construction from the Flemish government.
The project is the first new cracker to be built in the region for over 20 years, as investments of this magnitude—expected to top $3 billion—have gone primarily to regions such as China, the U.S. and the Middle East. Ineos selected Antwerp as the site for the new cracker to "strengthen the resilience of the European chemical sector," the company said.
According to Ineos, Project One would be climate-neutral within 10 years of the cracker's start-up. The target year for operation is 2026 as construction is expected to take approximately four years.