Petrochemicals giant Ineos said will invest £1 billion (US$1.4 billion) to cut emissions from its Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, including plans for businesses at the site to run on hydrogen by the end of the decade.

The investment — linked to the Acorn carbon capture and storage project — is the next phase of a plan to cut emissions at the Grangemouth site by 60% by 2030.

Grangemouth is the biggest polluting industrial site in Scotland. Five sites at Grangemouth released around 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019, according to the Scottish Environment & Protection Agency (Sepa).

Ineos said its plans involve a move to the production and use of blue hydrogen by all businesses at the Grangemouth site, accompanied by carbon capture and storage of at least 1 million tonnes per annum of CO2 by 2030.

“This will include capturing CO2 from existing hydrogen production and the construction of a world-scale carbon capture enabled hydrogen production plant,” Ineos said.

When Ineos bought the site in 2005 it was emitting around 5 million tpa of CO2, which has been reduced to 3 million tpa.

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The next step will be to reduce this to below 2 million tpa.

Scotland has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2050, five years ahead of the rest of the UK.

Chairman of Ineos Grangemouth, Andrew Gardner, said: “We actually have to go much further than the significant CO2 reductions we’ve achieved already.

“By 2045 we have to be net zero equivalent and we have to set some really ambitious, but achievable, targets for ourselves for 2030.”

Scottish government Net Zero Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I welcome this significant investment, which demonstrates Ineos’ support for Scotland’s journey to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045.

“This will not only drive forward innovation and diversification to tackle emissions at Grangemouth but will also support the decarbonisation of other sectors, sites and regions across Scotland.”

Ineos in July said it would work with the Acorn CCS project in Scotland, which aims to store CO2 emissions beneath the North Sea