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Britain's richest man to spend £1bn on North Sea infrastructure and new plants

Ineos will upgrade the Forties pipeline and Grangemouth refinery

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Forites can transport 600,000 barrels per day

Ineos, the vehicle of Jim Ratcliffe, the UK’s richest man, is to invest £1bn overhauling the North Sea’s oil and gas infrastructure.

The Forties pipeline system, through which 40% of the UK's North Sea oil and gas is transported, will get a £500mln upgrade while the Grangemouth oil refinery will get a £350mln energy plant.

Ineos will also build a new chemical plant in Hull to produce a key ingredient of safety glass and laminated windscreens.

The company acquired the 310 miles of Forties pipeline from BP in October 2017. It has a maximum capacity of 600,000 barrels per day.

Earlier this year it was reported that Ratcliffe, a keen Brexit supporter, is working on plans to switch residence to Monaco to reduce his tax bill.

“Ineos is a supporter of British manufacturing and this £1bn investment underlines our confidence in our business in the UK,” he said today.

“These investments will ensure that our UK assets continue to be world-class for many years to come.”

Ratcliffe owns 60% of Ineos, with Andy Currie and John Reece owning 20% each.

Ineos made an underlying profit of €2.29bn in 2018.

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