NPRA ’10: Canada’s NOVA expects strong PE returns in Q2

30 March 2010 21:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Canadian polyethylene (PE) producer NOVA Chemicals expects to see continued PE demand growth during the second quarter and perhaps the third, but will keep an eye on ethylene demand as more US Gulf producers resume plant operations later this year, a top company executive said on Tuesday.

NOVA reported a fourth-quarter net income of $17m (€12.6m) on 15 March, compared with a net loss of $212m for the same period in 2008 as demand improved after the economic downturn. NOVA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

“I think the second quarter will continue to remain strong, with continued growth in PE demand,” said NOVA’s Grant Thomson, president of olefins and feedstocks, on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference.

During the second half of the year, however, the Calgary-based company will keep an eye on ethylene demand as US Gulf PE plants resume normal operations, he said.

The arbitrage window for US PE to large-volume markets in Asia is firmly closed and not expected to reopen at least for a couple of months, traders said in early March.

Thomson said NOVA’s Joffre operations in Alberta have enjoyed a freight cost advantage that has allowed it to continue shipping product to Asia. PE is put in bulk rail containers and sent to the Vancouver port, where the product is shipped directly to Asia, he said.

Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on NOVA visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on PE visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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