Ethylene Oxide (EO)

Europe's largest, most cost-efficient EO units.

INEOS Oxide has more than trebled the EO capacity at Antwerp to 420 ktpa since the current management acquired the asset in 1995; making it the largest, most modern and efficient unit in Europe. The total production capacity of EO further increased with 220 ktpa by the acquisition of the Lavéra plant in 2005 and with another 280 ktpa by the acquisition of the Köln plant in 2006.

As well as supplying EO directly into the merchant market and to its Third Party customers, INEOS Oxide converts a substantial proportion of its EO into a comprehensive range of specialty EO derivatives.

EO is a highly reactive building block for many specialised EO derivatives which are themselves very reactive, in turn making them attractive for a wide range of end uses, such as pharma-care products, detergents/shampoos, synthetic lubricants for industrial plant and automotive, surface coatings, agrochemicals, biotechnology, food and paper processing, and oil and gas recovery.

INEOS Oxide has the most cost-effective EO unit in Europe as a consequence of :

  • Economies of scale: single largest unit in Europe and a combined capacity of 920 ktpa
  • Fully competitive technology: operating the most modern units in Europe, using state-of-the-art technology
  • Reliability: the units are recognised as being the most reliable ones in Europe
  • Shared fixed costs: involvement of Third Party companies on the site sharing infrastructure costs
  • Ready access to key raw materials: directly linked to ethylene, (via pipeline and/or direct cracker feed), oxygen and nitrogen (by pipeline)
  • Strategic location and ideal proximity to customers at the lowest possible logistics cost, both in the northern and southern parts of Europe
Ethylene Oxide
at a glance...
  • Annual Capacities
    EO : 920kt
  • Main product
    Ethylene Oxide
  • Major End-Uses
    Glycol Ethers
  • Key Applications
    Automotives (antifreeze)
    Pharmacare products
    Synthetic lubricants
    Surface coatings
    Paper and food
    Processing chemicals
    Oil and gas recovery

Ethylene Oxide Production
Ethylene oxide is produced by a gas phase reaction of ethylene and oxygen over a fixed bed silver-based catalyst in multi-tubular reactors. The reaction is exothermic and EO is recovered from the gas stream, purified and stored. The ethylene oxide units are equipped with advanced process control, gas detection and emergency shutdown systems.

Ethylene Feed Stock
INEOS Oxide’s ethylene supply is ensured through it’s own ethylene crackers on site, via connections to most of the Ethylene crackers in Europe, or by pipeline connections to the nortwestern European pipeline system.