Nova Chemicals plans ethylene capacity expansion

Nova Chemicals Corp., Calgary, is planning several expansions and upgrades to its existing Canadian operations to take advantage of cost-competitive pricing for North American NGL feedstock, the company said in a Dec. 18 release.

In addition to the ongoing cracker feedstock conversion project at its Corunna, Ont., refinery and petrochemical complex (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013), Nova Chemicals said it will expand the cracker’s current ethylene production capacity of 839,000 tonnes/year by 20% between 2014-18.

To build on the impact of Corunna conversion project, Nova said it also plans to pursue within a 2014-18 time frame debottlenecking and retrofitting projects for low-density and high-density polyethylene lines at the company’s Mooretown, Ont., plant, which processes ethylene delivered via pipeline from the Corunna site.

The total investment for the planned 2014-18 projects could exceed $300 million, Nova Chemicals Chief Executive Randy Woelfel said.

The company also confirmed the Corunna feedstock conversion project—which was designed to allow the cracker to utilize up to 100% NGLs from growing North American supplies—remains on target for first quarter-2014 completion.

Ahead of the project’s official completion, however, the Corunna plant soon will begin processing ethane supplies from Marcellus shale that already have accumulated in nearby Sarnia, Ont., storage, according to the release.

Elsewhere in Canada, Nova Chemicals said work also continues on a gas-phase polyethylene reactor at its Joffre site, near Read Deer, Alta. (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013). That project is scheduled for mechanical completion in first quarter-2016.

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