On Saturday, campaigners from Ineos Will Fall moved from the Provincial House to the Port House, the Scheldt bend and the site for the new Ineos factory in the port with a tender sign. With this fictitious construction, the members of the group wanted to draw attention to the amount of data concerning the project that is of great concern: the building application for the new chemist Ineos.
The sign stated that the plant will have a consumption of up to 720 cubic meters of drinking water per hour and 1,910,000 tons of ethane gas per year. The new ethane cracker would also emit 454,000 tons of CO2 and 167 tons of nitrogen oxide annually.
The arrival of the ethane cracker has already had some difficulties. We’ll put some things in an overview. Chemical giant Ineos wants to build an ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp. That installation would produce ethylene, a basic chemical product that is used, among other things, in the production of plastic.
The arrival of this new factory was fiercely contested from the start by environmental organizations, but in December last year it received a permit from the Province of Antwerp. Albeit under the condition that Ineo’s climate should strive to become time neutral in ten years.
“Objections ended up in the trash”
But that is not enough, according to Ineos Will Fall, among others. There were 617 objections against the factory, but we can only conclude that all these objections from citizens to the construction of this project have been trashed. of course there were very strong effects that put forward very worrying data about climate effects and pollution,” says Arno Kempynck.
The activists do not intend to stick to their silent protest on Saturday. The group is planning a protest at the cabinet of Minister of Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) on January 28 at 12.30 pm. With that protest they want to put forward one clear demand: “Say no to INEOS’ ethane cracker”. “If the final putation does not listen, we strive to get the minister Demir. She has to reverse the decision. She has derived gas-fired power stations from their high nitrogen levels, but this project also causes enormous emissions of the same nitrogen. Then she should stop this project too.”
An appeal procedure will follow from a number of environmental and climate associations and the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands will also appeal against the environmental permit of the deputation. The Dutch province is afraid that the controversial squatter will release too much nitrogen for Zeeland nature reserves in the vicinity.
“For us it’s simple, even under certain conditions you simply cannot produce plastic with fossil fuels in an environmentally friendly way. So the factory will not come to a decision”, Arno.
It just wants to make the chemical industry more sustainable. “With Project One, Ineos is just now bringing technological innovation to Europe to make all the difference for it today. We are not doing that just a little, but significantly: after all, our ethane cracker will have the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe,” says Nathalie Meert of Ineos.
“With the hydrogen we submitted, we can already replace sixty percent of the natural gas that we normally need. The cracker has been designed in such a way that it is already technologically possible today to run the installation completely on hydrogen. Only there is not enough green and paid hydrogen available today. If much more green hydrogen becomes available in Antwerp, we will eventually be able to replace the remaining 40%. It is also based on the assumption that plastic, plastics, are by definition bad and that ethylene is used exclusively for single-use plastic. That is doing violence to the truth. Ethylene is a released raw material for countless applications that also occur in the living room of the activists. During the pandemic, in particular, it has become apparent what they are like for medical applications from hand gel to blood bags, and COVID self-tests,” said Meert.