DAWN broke over the Firth of Forth, and so did the silence.

As the giant, 180-metre long ship emerged on the horizon lone piper Bob Low, an ex-Ineos employee, stood on the foredeck playing the Skye Boat Song.

Like its founder, the straight-shooting billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, the chemicals firm is not known for placidity. Even the paintwork makes a statement. The slogan 'shale gas for manufacturing', alongside a Saltire, was emblazoned in huge letters on the vessel's side.

The early start was dictated by the low tide, necessary for the Ineos Insight to pass safely underneath the historic bridges that span the Forth. After clearing the Forth Bridge, it sailed slowly past the stunning new Queensferry Crossing, now near completion. Putting the scale of the project into perspective, the new bridge comes with a pricetag cheaper than the £1.5 billion 'virtual pipeline' between the US and Europe.

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On to Grangemouth, a packed press conference was attended by media from across the UK and beyond. Here, the debate over whether to allow fracking in Scotland come into focus.

Mr Ratcliffe, hesitating slightly after being asked what he made of the refusal of SNP ministers to attend his celebration, admitted "It is a disappointment" pointing out that the scheme had secured 10,000 jobs and given Grangemouth a viable future.

He went on to express frustration with the Scottish Government's policy and moratorium, saying simply "I don't know" when asked why what he described as "quite simple messages and quite clear messages" about economic benefits of fracking were not getting through to decision makers. He then blamed a "vocal minority" which he said had "no science" to back up their opposition.

But while Ineos was understandably keen to trumpet its technological feat, it had no answer for the Scottish weather. As staff and dignitaries gathered to see the ship dock, it was announced that there would be no grand finale to go with their (alcohol free) pink fizz and canapes.

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A 50 knot wind, four times the strength of the safe limit, left the ship unable to complete the final hop of its 3,000 mile trip. The gale will eventually subside, the debate around fracking will continue swirling.