INEOS has welcomed its first shipment of ethane from US shale gas at its Grangemouth terminal.
The $2billion investment will safeguard the future of Scotland’s biggest industrial site and the 10,000 jobs that depend on it for the next 20 years.
The Dragon class INEOS Insight carrier brought 27,500 cubic metres of ethane from US shale fields.
Exploration and production of shale gas by fracking in Scotland is currently banned by a Scottish Government moratorium.
The UK Government has, however, given the industry the green light.
INEOS has instead secured for Grangemouth supplies from the United States where the low cost of shale gas has been a huge boost for the viability of manufacturing industry.
INEOS intends to eventually use eight Dragon class ships to provide a virtual pipeline shipping US shale to Europe, as US shale replaces the reducing gas extracted from the North Sea.
Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of INEOS, said: “This is a hugely important day for INEOS and the UK.
“We are excited about the kick-start shale gas can give to UK manufacturing.”
No Scottish Government minister was present at Grangemouth to see the carrier arrive from America, but Scotland Office Minister David Mundell was in attendance.