24 July 2002 23:55 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (CNI)--Canada’s Nova Chemicals expects to commercialise zero-volatile organic compound (zero-VOC) expandable polystyrene (EPS) grades within four years, officials disclosed Wednesday.
Nova president and chief executive officer Jeff Lipton told analysts here during the company’s second quarter results briefing today: "We are looking at three, four years before that [zero-VOC EPS] is really commercialised, and it will take some new investments."
Chris Pappas, president of Nova’s styrenics business, added that Nova is gradually moving its EPS business from a "relatively high pentane" content of 6% to lower-VOC EPS with a pentane content of 3%, and then to zero-VOC grades. Pappas noted that the investments will not involve "significant" amounts.
He added that Nova is already commercialising lower-VOC EPS. According to Pappas, zero-VOC EPS is "really the ultimate in EPS."
Nova last month announced that as part of a restructuring of its styrenics business it will accelerate further development of its patented VOC-free EPS technology.
Separately, Pappas noted that Nova’s current operation rate in its polystyrene (PS) business stands at "roughly" 85%. Said Pappas: "The only hold-back that is out there … is the availability of [styrene] monomer with the outages, and secondary, our inventory management … We are monomer-short and inventory-conscious."
Lipton added that market uncertainty, outages and low monomer and polymer inventories are supporting PS prices.
Nova is based in Calgary, Alberta.
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