The petrochemical giant INEOS is planning a public relations push for fracking tomorrow, as a boatload of gas arrives at Grangemouth from the US.
The company, which has its headquarters in Switzerland, is taking journalists out to dinner in Edinburgh this evening, putting them up in a hotel overnight, and then giving them breakfast on a boat on the Firth of Forth.
The plan is to meet an INEOS gas tanker delivering the first cargo of ethane from US fracking fields to Grangemouth, and for both boats to sail together under the Forth rail bridge. The journalists will then be taken back ashore, and driven to a press conference with INEOS boss Jim Ratcliffe and other senior executives.
Afterwards they all get lunch, a view of the gas tanker arriving at the lock in Grangemouth and transport back to Edinburgh. One party will be taken back to Edinburgh Airport so that they can fly home.
The event has been organised for INEOS by its public relations company, Mediazoo, based at Imperial Wharf in London. According to the itinerary, seen by The Ferret, journalists will be dining tonight at the upmarket Wedgwood restaurant on the Royal Mile, and staying at the four-star Apex hotel on Waterloo Place.
The Ferret is also reporting today that Range Resources, one of the US fracking companies contracted to supply INEOS with ethane, has been fined $4.15m for pollution in Pennsylvania. Range said it was “deeply disappointed that these violations occurred”.
INEOS is likely to reiterate its argument that it would be better in the future if it was able to source its gas from fracking in Scotland. But that is opposed by communities and environmentalists, and is subject to a moratorium imposed by the Scottish Government.