Grangemouth Refinery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Grangemouth Refinery

Overview of the Grangemouth Refinery.
Grangemouth Refinery is located in Scotland
Location of the Grangemouth Refinery in Scotland
CountryScotland, United Kingdom
CityFirth of Forth, Grangemouth
Coordinates56°01′05″N 3°41′53″W / 56.018°N 3.698°W / 56.018; -3.698Coordinates: 56°01′05″N 3°41′53″W / 56.018°N 3.698°W / 56.018; -3.698
Refinery details
OperatorIneos
Owner(s)Ineos
PetroChina
Commissioned1924 (1924)
Capacity200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d)
Number of employees1,200
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Grangemouth Refinery

Overview of the Grangemouth Refinery.
Grangemouth Refinery is located in Scotland
Location of the Grangemouth Refinery in Scotland
CountryScotland, United Kingdom
CityFirth of Forth, Grangemouth
Coordinates56°01′05″N 3°41′53″W / 56.018°N 3.698°W / 56.018; -3.698Coordinates: 56°01′05″N 3°41′53″W / 56.018°N 3.698°W / 56.018; -3.698
Refinery details
OperatorIneos
Owner(s)Ineos
PetroChina
Commissioned1924 (1924)
Capacity200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d)
Number of employees1,200

Grangemouth Refinery is a mature oil refinery complex located on the Firth of Forth in Grangemouth, Scotland. Currently operated by Ineos, it is Scotland's only oil refinery (one of nine in the UK), and is also the UK's second-oldest; it supplies refined products to customers in Scotland, northern England, Northern Ireland, as well as occasionally further afield.

Contents

History

Grangemouth Refinery commenced operation in 1924 as Scottish Oils, owned by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company which in turn was a forerunner of British Petroleum (later BP). Its location was made ideal by the adjacent Grangemouth Docks which supported the import by ship of Middle East crude oils for processing, plus the cheap availability of large areas of reclaimed flat land.

The refinery was forced to shut down between 1939 and 1946 by World War II and the resulting drying up of crude feedstock imports. When operations recommenced in 1946, the refinery underwent a number of major expansion programmes, including the building of an adjacent petrochemicals complex to process some of the refinery waste and byproduct streams.

In 1954 the refinery was connected to the Finnart Ocean terminal at Loch Long on the west coast of Scotland by a 58-mile (93 km) pipeline, to allow the import of crudes via deep-water jetty, which supported the use of larger oil tankers. Later on in the century a second line was also installed to allow the direct supply of finished refinery products to the Finnart terminal, primarily for export to markets in Northern Ireland.

In the 1960s, a pilot "proteins-from-oil" production facility was built at the refinery. It used British Petroleum's technology for feeding n-paraffins to yeast, in order to produce single cell protein for poultry and cattle feed.[1]

In 1975 the discovery of North Sea Oil brought the commissioning of the Kinneil Crude Oil Stabilisation terminal, which connected directly into the BP Forties pipeline system; this plant serves to stabilise Forties Crude oil for either export to third-parties or feeding into the refinery, and allowed the processing of North Sea oil as part of the refinery crude 'slate' of feedstocks.

One of the refinery's biggest accidents happened at 7 am on Sunday 22 March 1987 when the unit's hydrocracker exploded. The resulting vibrations and noise could be heard up to 30 km away. The resulting fire burned for most of the day.[2]

In 2005 the refinery and connected petrochemicals complex (excluding the Kinneil terminal) was put on the market by BP as part of the Innovene sale, this company being made up of all of BP's petrochemicals plants and businesses. Innovene was purchased by INEOS, a privately owned chemicals company.

Operation

December 2011

The Grangemouth Refinery is a major landmark, with its numerous gas flares and cooling towers visible across a wide area of the Scottish Lowlands.

The refinery has a 'nameplate' capacity for processing 210,000 barrels (33,000 m3) of crude oil daily. It currently employs about 1,200 permanent staff, and a further 1,000 contractors.

It processed approximately 400,000 tonnes of imported crude oil annually until the end of the Second World War, and subsequent expansion programmes have increased refining capacity to an excess of 10 million tonnes per year.[3]

The BP-owned North Sea Forties pipeline system terminates at the Kinneil processing facility, and surplus crude is exported via pipeline to the Dalmeny tank farm, and subsequently shipped out from the Hound Point marine terminal onto oil tankers of up to 350,000 D.W.T. which are able navigate the shallow water of the Forth.

Annual output share

Safety record

In 2002, BP the former owners of the plant, were fined £1m for breaching safety laws.[4] Ineos went to court in April 2008 over claims that it had polluted the River Forth in summer 2007.[5]

2008 strike

In 2008, Ineos proposed that plant workers start contributing a share towards their own pensions (a final salary pension scheme[6]), instead of the current situation of non-contributory fixed salary pensions. The request would have obliged future new entry employees paying 6% of their salary, phased in over a six-year period. However, 97% of the Unite trade union's 1,250 members at Grangemouth voted in favour of strike action. David Watt, of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, believes that the average Grangemouth Refinery plant worker earns £40,000 per year (nearly twice the Scottish average.)[7] However, this was disputed by the Deputy General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Dave Moxham, who stated that they earn £30,000 per year.[6]

The strike began at 6 am on 27 April 2008 (Sunday), and lasted until 29 April (Tuesday).[8] The petrol supply of Scotland was affected by the strike, as panic buying led some petrol stations across the country to run dry.[9] However, the Retail Motor Industry Federation has stated that there is a stock of fuel that could last 70 days, easily covering the lapse in production so long as no panic buying occurs.[10] With the shutdown of the plant, BP closed the Forties pipeline system as their Kinneil terminal relies on power from the Grangemouth refinery.[11] With the shutdown of Kinneil, 70 North Sea oil platforms were forced to shut down or reduce production, at the cost of 700,000 barrels per day (110,000 m3/d).[11] Shutting the pipeline down reduced Britain's petroleum supply (the Forties pipeline provides 30% of the UK's North Sea oil), and cost the UK economy £50 million in lost production every day it remained closed.[12]

Panorama of Grangemouth petrochemical works, November 2006

See also

References

  1. ^ Bamberg, J. H. (2000). British Petroleum and global oil, 1950-1975: the challenge of nationalism. Volume 3 of British Petroleum and Global Oil 1950-1975: The Challenge of Nationalism, J. H. Bamberg British Petroleum series. Cambridge University Press. pp. 426–428. ISBN 0-521-78515-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=LVC0VlPOJxEC.
  2. ^ http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/casebpgrang87b.htm The Hydrocracker Explosion and Fire at BP Oil, Grangemouth Refinery. 22 March 1987
  3. ^ UKPIA - Overview of Grangemouth Facility
  4. ^ "BP fined £1m for safety offences". BBC News. 18 January 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/1767896.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Court action for refinery bosses". BBC News. 22 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7361151.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Workers left with no alternative". BBC News. 23 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7363121.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  7. ^ "'Be realistic' call to petrol workers". BBC News. 22 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7361023.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Deal could end refinery dispute". BBC News. 29 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7374571.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  9. ^ "The petrol picture in Scotland". BBC News. 25 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7360339.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Q&A: The Grangemouth dispute". BBC News. 28 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7358392.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Opec warns oil could reach $200". BBC News. 28 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7370441.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  12. ^ "'Weeks' to re-start strike plant". BBC News. 26 April 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7369043.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2010.

External links