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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

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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