Ineos ethane cracker gets "conditional favourable opinion" from environment commission

On Friday evening, the Department of the Environment published the long-awaited opinion of the Regional Environmental Permitting Committee (GOVC) on the Ineos ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp. The overall conclusion of the report is "partially conditionally favourable".

The GOVC's opinion was originally announced on Wednesday, but the committee has now published its 180-page report. It states that "the nuisance and impact on people and the environment, and the risks to external safety, caused by the proposed project can be reduced to an acceptable level, subject to compliance with the conditions of the permit."

The permit for the €4 billion project was annulled by the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes in July. It ruled that the government had not sufficiently demonstrated that the project's nitrogen emissions would not harm a nature reserve in the Netherlands. The GOVC has overturned this appeal.

"Unfounded objections"

"The application, subject to the conditions set out below, complies with the legal requirements as well as with good local planning and its immediate surroundings," the report states. There are therefore "grounds to declare the objections unfounded and to grant permission".

The GOVC was due to review the British chemical giant's application to build an ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp at the beginning of December. That meeting was postponed at the last minute.

The way is now clear for Flemish Environment minister Zuhal Demir to grant Ineos a new licence. Construction of the ethane cracker could start as early as Monday.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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