US shale shipment arrives to angry protests

Ineos Insight passes beneath the Forth Bridge PICTURE: MICHAEL GILLEN

Ineos Insight passes beneath the Forth Bridge PICTURE: MICHAEL GILLEN

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Fracking protestors began gathering outside Ineos headquarters in Grangemouth as the firm’s first shipment of US shale travelled under the Forth Bridge.

The tanker Ineos Insight is carrying 27,500m3 of ethane from US shale fields and is due to dock at Grangemouth this morning.

According to the petrochemical giant, the gas, which was obtained through the process of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, will replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure the future of the plant’s workforce.

It hopes the US shale gas will provide sufficient raw material to run its manufacturing site at full rates, something that has not been possible for many years.

Ineos invited Scottish ministers to attend the grand arrival of the gas shipment but was told ministers were “unavailable to attend”. The Scottish Government has placed a moratorium on all fracking in Scotland while a study into its impact is carried out.

A number of protesters did turn up at the firm’s new Grangemouth HQ this morning, however, to show get their feelings across about the environmental impact of fracking.