Ineos is a privately owned UK multinational chemicals company headquartered in London, UK, and with registered offices in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK and London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest chemicals company admeasuring $ 86 billion by sales revenue. Jim Ratcliffe is the Founder, Chairman and major stakeholder.

Private limited company UK
Founded1998 (1998)
FounderSir Jim Ratcliffe
Key people
ProductsChemical substances, petrochemicals, plastics
RevenueUS$ 85 billion (2019);
EBITDA = €4.3 billion
Number of employees

Ineos is organised into around 20 standalone business units, each with its own board with the intention of operating almost entirely independently, albeit Ratcliffe, and his associates, still appear to occasionally sit on these boards.[2]


The name Ineos is derived from Inspec Ethylene Oxide Specialities, a previous name of the business.[3] It also stems from one Latin and two Greek words that Ratcliffe, and his two sons, found when searching for a company name. "Ineo" is Latin for a new beginning, "Eos" is the Greek goddess of dawn, and "neos" is Greek something new and innovative. As a result, Ineos states its name represents the "dawn of something new and innovative".[3]


In 1992, Inspec was formed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, previously a director of the U.S. private equity group Advent International, and by John Hollowood, for the purpose of executing a management buy-in of British Petroleum's (BP) chemicals arm.[4][5]

In 1995, Inspec bought BP's ethylene oxide, and glycol, businesses for £78 million, to become Inspec Ethylene Oxide Specialities.[6]

In 1998, Ratcliffe, then a director of Inspec, established Ineos for the purpose of purchasing Inspec's ethylene oxide facility in Antwerp, Belgium.[7][8] The £84 million purchase was funded by three entities: the Scottish investment house Murray Johnstone (£10 million), Ineos management (£1.5 million), and the investment bank BT Alex Brown (£72.5 million, raised through junk bonds).[6][7][9][10]

The company grew quickly through the acquisition of commodity chemical businesses from corporate giants such as BP, ICI and BASF.

There have been three distinct phases of Ineos's growth.[11] The first phase spanned over ten years, with Ineos acquiring 22 companies between 1998 and 2008. The two most notable of these were Innovene, the olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary of BP, in October 2005 for $9 billion,[12] and ICI's commodity chemicals business in 2001.

The second phase between 2008 and 2010 saw a period of consolidation as the company tackled the impact of the global recession. As production of consumer goods, cars, and construction fell during this period, the company saw sales and earnings fall. During this period a major competitor LyondellBasell filed for bankruptcy.[13] Some predicted a similar fate for Ineos but the company emerged from this period intact.

The third phase commenced in 2011. In this phase the company has continued to grow through a series of strategic joint ventures.

In June 2011, the largest of these, Petroineos, was completed. It is a 50:50 joint venture between Ineos and PetroChina. It combines Ineos's refining interests at Grangemouth, Scotland, and at Lavéra near Martigues, France (about 30 miles west of Marseille), with PetroChina's access to upstream raw materials.[14]

In June 2011, Ineos and BASF combined their styrene businesses to form another 50:50 partnership, Styrolution.[15]

Ineos's growth has continued through this period, expanding production in the US and China. Most recently Ineos announced a joint venture with Solvay bringing together their European polyvinyl chloride businesses.[16]

Ineos's heritage is in a number of well-known blue chip chemical companies. These include Amoco, BASF, Bayer, Borealis, BP, Degussa, Dow Chemical Company, Enichem, Erdölchemie, Hoechst, ICI, Innovene, Lanxess, Monsanto, Norsk Hydro and Solvay. The company was formed in 1998 to affect a management buyout of the former BP petrochemicals assets in Antwerp, Belgium.[17] Since then, it has expanded by purchasing several other businesses. Several of its divisions formerly belonged to BP, and others that have been divested by large companies such as Amoco, BASF, ICI, Dow Chemical, Solvay and UCB, as they have looked to focus more closely on their main product lines. In October 2005 Ineos agreed to purchase Innovene, BP's olefins and derivatives and refining subsidiary, which had an estimated 2005 turnover of US$25 billion, for $9 billion.[18] The deal, which was completed on 14 December 2005, roughly quadrupled Ineos's turnover, which was previously around $8 billion.

In 2007 Ineos formed a joint venture with Lanxess and created Ineos ABS, comprising Lanxess's activities in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene production, located in Tarragona. Ineos paid €35 million in a first tranche.[19] In March 2010 Ineos Healthcare terminated its drug development programme for commercial reasons.

In February 2011 Ineos Bio broke ground on a landmark advanced biofuels facility in Florida. "INEOS Bio’s biorefinery will have the capacity to produce 8 million gallons of ethanol and 6 megawatts (gross) of electricity per year." "The INEOS Bio process can produce ethanol and renewable energy from numerous non-food feedstocks, including construction and municipal solid waste, forestry and agricultural waste."[20] In July 2013 Ineos Bio announced that the Florida plant is producing cellulosic ethanol on a commercial scale and claim to be the first in the world to do so using this new technology.[21]

On 23 October 2013 Ineos announced the closure of its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth, Scotland,[22] following a dispute with the Unite trade union over pensions and an attempt to impose a wage freeze and new contract on the workforce. However, by 25 October 2013 the union gave in to the closure threats, and agreed to all Ineos's demands meaning the plant would stay open and strike-free for three years[23] and in September 2016 the company completed a new headquarters building at Grangemouth as part of a "site rejuvenation plan".[24]

In April 2017, Ineos reached an agreement to buy the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea from BP for $250 million. The sale included terminals at Dalmeny and Kinneil, a site in Aberdeen, and the Forties Unity Platform.[25]

Towards the start of 2019, in the wake of British MPs rejecting Theresa May's Brexit Deal, the company chose to fund a €3bn investment (£2.6bn) in petrochemical production in Antwerp, Belgium.[26]


Ineos provides products for many markets including: Fuels and Lubricants (23.3%), Packaging and Food (18.5%) and Construction (16.1%). Other markets include Automotive & Transport, White Goods & Durables, Pharmaceutical & Agrochemical and Textiles.[27] The majority of Ineos's geographic earnings are distributed across Germany (16.8%), USA (16.1%), UK (12.3%), France (11.6%) and Benelux (10.8%).[27]

Ineos is involved in renewable energy and is one of the world's leading pioneers in the development of generating sustainable energy from waste material.[28]

Ineos reportedly runs operations with minimal head office management, feeling that "work teams" are better suited for handling of the workflow day to day, without middle-management.[29]

In November 2014, Ineos announced plans to invest up to £640m in shale gas exploration in the UK. The company plans to use the gas as a raw material for its chemicals plants, including Grangemouth near Falkirk.[30] Ineos CEO, Jim Ratcliffe, has criticized restrictions on fracking in the UK.[31]

Joint ventures


Petroineos is a refining and trading joint venture between Ineos and PetroChina formed in 2011. It is Europe's leading independent crude oil refiner, with a turnover of $15 billion. It has two refineries, one in Lavéra, France, and one in Grangemouth, Scotland.[32] The value of the Grangemouth chemicals plant, which Ineos had once valued at 400 million pounds was written down to nothing by them in October 2013 during conflict with the union. Later that month it was reported that PetroChina was unhappy with the return on the billion dollars cash they had paid for a 50% stake in the Grangemouth, Scotland and Lavera, France refineries. According to a Hong Kong business analyst: "The European refineries are pretty much loss making. In future there won't be any similar investments".[33]

Other ventures

PQ Corporation is a joint venture between Ineos (31%), CCMP (58%), and PQ management (11%). PQ is a global producer of inorganic chemicals, catalysts and engineered glass products.[34]

Most recently, Solvay and Ineos are to create a 50:50 joint venture which will see them combine their chlorvinyls sites in Europe. This joint venture will become the world's third largest producer of PVC.[16]

Ineos Automotive

Ineos Automotive Ltd. was formed in 2017 by Jim Ratcliffe in order to develop and manufacture an off-road utility vehicle, intended as a "spiritual successor" to the Land Rover Defender, under the codename Projekt Grenadier.[35] In September 2019, it was announced that vehicle, now officially named Ineos Grenadier, would be manufactured in two new factories in Estarreja, Portugal (chassis and body) and Bridgend, South Wales (final assembly), with powertrains supplied by BMW. Launch is planned for 2021.[36]


Ineos manufactures and distributes a wide range of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products:[27]

Ammonia/nitric acid * Ammonia and nitric acid
Baleycourt * Esters, biodiesel, and chlorinated paraffins
Chlorotoluenes * Benzyl alcohol, benzyl chloride, benzaldehyde, benzoyl chloride, benzotrichloride, dibenzyloxide, ortho-chlorobenzyl chloride and ortho-chlorobenzaldehyde
Compounds * PVC compounds
Ethanol * Ethanol
Inovyn Brine, caustic soda, chlorinated solvents, chlorine derivatives, chlorine, EDC, ethylene, propylene, PVC, Recycled PVC and VCM
Melamines *Formaldehyde and melamine formaldehyde resin
NitrilesAcetonitrile, acrylonitrile, ammonium sulfate, hydrogen cyanide and maleic anhydride catalyst
Olefins and Polymers EuropeBenzene, butadiene, ethylene, HDPE, LDPE compounds, LDPE, LLDPE, polymerisation Ziegler catalysts, polypropylene, propylene and toluene
Olefins and Polymers USAButadiene, butane, crude benzene, ethane/propane mix, ethylene, fuel oil, HDPE, mixed butenes, other bottoms liquids, polypropylene, propane, and propylene
OligomersDIB, the dimer of isobutylene (isoolefins/isoparafins), IA (isoamylene/TAME), linear alpha olefins, poly alpha olefins, polyisobutene, Technikum (cyclopentane, CP70, methylpropadiene)
OxideAcetate, acetate esters, alkoxilates, alkoxylates, ENB & glycol ethers, EOAs, ethyl acetate, ethylene glycol, ethylene oxide, glycol ethers, oxo alcohols, propylene glycol, and propylene oxide
Paraform *Cyanates, dimethoxymethane, formaldehyde, hexamethylenetetramine, paraformaldehyde, and triallylcyanurate
PhenolAcetone, alpha-methylstyrene (AMS), cumene and phenol
Salt * Granular salt, pure dried vacuum salt, salt tablets, and undried vacuum salt
Solvents * Diisopropyl ether, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, and s-butyl alcohol
Styrolution ABS, AMSAN, ASA Resin, compounded grades, ethylbenzene, general purpose polystyrene, high impact polystyrene, NAS, polyethylbenzene, polystyrene polymers - HIPS, SAN, SBC (StyroFlex), specialty compounding, styrene, and styrene monomer
Sulphur Chemicals * Sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, sulfuric acid, and ultra pure acid
TechnologiesLicenses world class petrochemical technology for: polyethylene, polystyrene, vinyls, polypropylene, acrylonitrile, chlor-alkali
Trading and Shipping Trades and supplies petrochemical feedstocks, hydrocarbons, energy and carbon credits for both internal and external customers
Upsteam Shale Natural gas, exploration and production of natural gas from on-shore shale deposits. Produces UK gas on the national grid.
Upstream Breagh Supplies natural gas to one in ten UK households.

*Ineos Enterprises consists of the following sub-businesses: ammonia/nitric acid, Baleycourt, chlorotoluenes, compounds, ethanol, melamines, paraform, salt, solvents and sulphur chemicals.

Industrial relations controversy


In April 2008 Ineos, which was experiencing adverse economic conditions, was at the centre of an industrial relations dispute with Unite over pension entitlements of the workforce at its Grangemouth Refinery, when the company decided to close the final salary pension scheme to new employees. Unite claimed the Grangemouth workers were paid £6,000 less than those at comparable facilities.[37] The 48-hour strike that followed caused panic buying of petrol throughout the country and the Forties production pipeline, a third of Britain's North Sea oil production, being closed.[38] Ineos has been accused by some of buying assets then cutting costs through the introduction of new working practices, lower wages, and terminating pension schemes.[37] According to Ratcliffe, some 65 per cent of salary costs at Grangemouth related to pensions.[39][40]


Stephen Deans, convener for Unite union at the Grangemouth plant where he worked, and also head of the Falkirk branch of the Labour party, was suspended from his employment at Grangemouth by Ineos in the summer of 2013, while they investigated what they said were accusations he had been using company resources for political campaigning; related to recruitment of Unite members in Ineos workforce to the local Labour branch, where the selection of a new parliamentary candidate was taking place after the de-selection of Eric Joyce. A Labour Party head office investigation into allegations that people had been made new members without them knowing or signing cleared Deans of the accusations, who had been suspended from the Labour party pending the investigation as well as the Unite candidate he was supporting.[38][41][42][43][44]

Unite said Deans was being subjected to "sinister" treatment, and in October an overtime ban at Grangemouth plant, which according to Ineos had operated at a loss of £150 million per year for the previous four years, started in protest.[38][43][44][45] A 48-hour strike was set for 20 October. Ineos announced the plant would be shut down before the strike and put forward a new deal direct to the workforce, warning that the plant might close permanently if it was rejected. Two-thirds of workers voted against accepting Ineos's proposal, which would have reduced pension, shift pay and redundancy entitlements in addition to a pay freeze. On 23 October Ineos announced the permanent closure of the petrochemical site at Grangemouth.[46] The next day the Unite union reversed its position and agreed to Ineos's proposals, which included an undertaking not to strike for three years.[47] Deans resigned from his job at Grangemouth on 28 October 2013 after Ineos presented its findings to his team.[48][49][50]


In March 2016, Ineos's Port of Runcorn ChlorVinyls facility was found guilty of releasing caustic soda into the Manchester Ship Canal. The company was ordered to pay a fine of £166,650.[51]

In 2018, Ineos applied for a test core drilling for shale gas at Woodsetts (United Kingdom). It was met by protests of residents.[52][53] New plans for drilling at Woodsetts and Harthill had been applied and eventually approved by the Planning Inspectorate.[54]

See also


  1. "INEOS is a world class producer of Petrochemicals and speciality chemicals". 1 June 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  2. Pfeifer, Sylvia (20 November 2014). "Jim D. Ratcliffe" via Financial Times.
  3. "Jim's a Leader in His Field".
  4. Marsh, Virginia; Rivlin, Richard (18 September 1999). "Ratcliffe in joint bid for ICI's acrylics arm". Financial Times. London. p. 26.
  5. Jury, Jennifer (1 June 1998). "Murray Johnstone Backs Jim Ratcliffe in Ineos Buyout". UK Venture Capital Journal. p. 1.
  6. Mortished, Carl (15 April 1998). "Inspec sells Antwerp to managers". The Times. London. p. 25.
  7. Taylor, Roger (15 April 1998). "Director to lead £84m buy-out of Inspec arm". Financial Times. London. p. 25.
  8. "INEOS | Company Structure Information from". ICIS. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. Clark, Michael (15 April 1998). "Finance sector leads index to another record high". The Times. London. p. 26.
  10. Luce, Edward (29 April 1998). "EDC in $500m five-year deal". Financial Times. London. p. 44.
  11. Iain Dey in Geneva (12 May 2013). "What Jim Ratcliffe did next". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  12. Catan, Thomas (7 October 2005). "BP to sell Innovene to Ineos in $9bn deal". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  13. "Lyondell Files for Bankruptcy". The New York Times. 6 January 2009.
  14. "PetroChina and INEOS announce plans for new trading and refining JV in Europe". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  15. "and INEOS sign joint venture contract for Styrolution - BASF - The Chemical Company - Corporate Website". BASF. 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  16. "Solvay and INEOS join forces to create a world-class PVC producer". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  17. Migration Temp (12 August 2007). "Ratcliffe, the alchemist". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  18. Catan, Thomas (7 October 2005). "BP to sell Innovene to Ineos in $9bn deal". Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  19. Archived 5 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. "INEOS Bio breaks ground on landmark advanced biofuels facility in Florida". Biofuels Digest. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  21. "First facility in the world using new advanced bioenergy technology to convert waste to renewable fuel and electricity". 31 July 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  22. "Grangemouth dispute: Ineos says petrochemical plant will close". 23 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  23. "Q&A: Grangemouth - What now?". 23 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  24. "INEOS completes construction of its new, state of the art Grangemouth Headquarters as part of its site rejuvention plan". Grangemouth: INEOS. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  25. "BP sells Forties North Sea pipeline to Ineos". BBC News. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  26. "Ineos chooses Antwerp for €3bn petrochemical investment", Financial Times, 16 January 2019
  27. "INEOS is a world class producer of Petrochemicals and speciality chemicals". 1 June 2007. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  28. "Florida Plant to Produce Advanced Ethanol -". 31 July 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  29. "Big Cut in UK Firms' Carcinogenic Emissions". 6 March 2002. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  30. "Ineos to invest £640m in UK shale gas exploration - BBC News".
  32. "PetroChina completes $1bn Ineos deal". London: Telegraph. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  33. Singapore (Platts)--21Oct2013 China abandons downstream investments on poor returns
  34. "CCMP :: News".
  35. Vijayenthiran, Viknesh (19 September 2017). "Unofficial Land Rover Defender successor gets a name". Motor Authority. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  36. Overland, Colin (18 September 2019). "Ineos Grenadier: Brit-built 'spiritual heir' to old Defender arrives 2021". Car Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  37. Doward, Jamie; Gaby Hinsliff; Denis Campbell (27 April 2008). "Drivers are told not to panic buy as strike at oil refinery starts to bite". The Observer. p. 5.
  38. Sunday Herald 28 July 2013 Trade union threatened to shut Grangemouth refinery over Falkirk chairman's suspension
  39. "INEOS Financing on Bioenergy Plant Will Create Almost 400 Jobs". U.S. Green Technology. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  40. Telegraph, Sep 2013, Britain is not an attractive place to manufacture, says Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe
  41. BBC news Sept 2013 Falkirk row: Unite union vindicated, says Len McCluskey
  42. Sky News Labour: Falkirk Candidate Karie Murphy Quits
  43. FT politic and Policy, Old wound threatens to reopen at Grangemouth
  44. BBC News business, 23 October 2013, Grangemouth dispute: The key players
  45. Friday 24 October 2013,Grangemouth: How downfall began with bar-room brawl
  46. Telegraph, 23 Oct 2013, mouth-timeline-of-the-dispute.html Grangemouth: timeline of the dispute
  47. BBC News, 24 October 2013 Grangemouth dispute: Hopes rise after Unite accepts survival plan
  48. Farrell, Sean; Syal, Rajeev (28 October 2013). "Grangemouth Unite official quits before he gets the boot".
  49. The uk,28 October 2013, Unite official Stevie Deans resigns from Grangemouth role Archived 31 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  50. 28 October 2013, Scottish Television News
  51. "Runcorn chemical giant loses appeal over chemical spill fine". Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  52. Shale gas opponents protest outside inquiry at Ineos drilling plans
  53. INEOS Shale disappointed by council's decision on Woodsetts
  54. New INEOS plans for Woodsetts and Harthill drilling approved
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