INEOS Olefins Belgium has announced raising €3.5bn to construct and operate an energy-efficient petrochemical plant, dubbed Project ONE, in Antwerp.

The plant will produce ethylene- a raw material used in making plastics for medical, healthcare and food hygiene industries as well as in automobile and renewable sectors.

It will have a nameplate capacity of 1450kt of ethylene per annum.

According to INEOS, the plant will have the least carbon footprint in Europe, less than half of the top 10% performers in Europe and three times lesser than the average European steam cracker.

Besides, the petrochemical plant will be capable of operating fully with low carbon hydrogen and it will have room to accommodate a carbon capture facility and future electric furnaces.

The financing, which is backed by 21 commercial banks, includes €1.5bn of uncovered debt, €700m UKEF covered tranche, a €400m Cesce covered tranche, a €100m SACE covered tranche and an €800m Gigarant covered tranche.

INEOS Project ONE CFO Jason Meer said: “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and secure this funding.

“Bringing together such a large number of environmentally focused commercial banks alongside four governmental agencies demonstrates the huge importance of the project.”

Meer added: “Project ONE is a game changer for Europe. It will bring new opportunities to the chemical cluster in Antwerp as well as strengthen the resilience of the whole of the European chemical sector.”

The environmental permit for INEOS’ petrochemical plant was granted by the Province of Antwerp in December 2021.

The plant is expected to commence production in 2026.