Ineos chairman blasts European regulation

Sunday, February 24th

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder, chairman and 60% owner of Ineos, has written an open letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, lambasting European chemical regulation in general and ‘green taxes’ in particular.

This came a month after Ineos, the world’s largest privately owned chemicals company, announced that it would invest €3 billion to build a new ethane gas cracker and world-scale propane dehydrogenation unit at Antwerp, which is the first of its kind in Europe for 20 years. The company already has nine operations there.

A “well known CEO of a European chemicals company” had asked him “Are you quite mad?” shortly afterwards, Ratcliffe said. His answer to that was that Ineos could afford to invest in Europe because it can bring in cheap feedstocks and consumes them internally. No others are likely to follow suit.

Europe, he continued, was formerly the world leader in chemicals, but its market share has halved from 30% to 15% in the past decade. “Europe is no longer competitive."

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