Nova Chemicals plans ethylene, PE expansion at Sarnia sites

From  Chemical Week Magazine

12:51 PM MST | December 18, 2013 | Clay Boswell

Nova Chemicals says it will expand its ethylene capacity at its Corunna, ON site by 20%, and debottleneck polyethylene (PE) production at its nearby Moore, ON site. Nova also reaffirmed its interest a second PE unit based on its Advanced Sclairtech (AST) technology. The projects are part of the company’s Nova 2020 investment plan.

Nova’s Corunna cracker has ethylene capacity of 820,000 m.t./year and work is ongoing at the site to convert production to a purely natural gas liquids feedslate. Nova expects the conversion to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, and says that feedstock ethane from the Marcellus shale basin is already accumulating in local storage.

“We are excited to move forward with the next phase for our eastern Canadian olefins and PE assets, building on the imminent completion of our Corunna feedstock conversion project,” says CEO Randy Woelfel. “In parallel with the planned implementation of these projects, which could represent investment exceeding $300 million, we will continue to investigate options for a second AST facility.” Nova says it is evaluating sites in Ontario, the US Gulf Coast, and elsewhere for the AST facility.

At Nova’s Moore, ON site, which receives ethylene from nearby Corunna, the company will debottleneck a low-density PE (LDPE) line and retrofit a high-density PE (HDPE) line. IHS Chemical estimates the capacity of Nova’s Moore LDPE line at 185,000 m.t./year, and the HDPE line at 210,000 m.t./year.

Nova says that work continues on a world-scale gas-phase PE reactor at its Joffre, AB, facility under the first phase of its Nova 2020 plan with completion expected in first-quarter 2016.

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