AFPM ’13: NOVA confident on Joffre crackers feedstock supply

25 March 2013 22:04  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--NOVA Chemicals is confident that various supply arrangements to pump more natural gas liquids (NGLs) into its site in Joffre, Alberta, Canada, will allow the crackers to run at full capacity, a senior executive said on Monday.

“We wouldn’t be making these downstream investments in polyethylene [PE] if we weren’t confident on feedstock supply,” said Grant Thomson, NOVA president of olefins and feedstocks, on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

NOVA is in the engineering phase of its planned new 1bn lb/year (454,000 tonne/year) linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant in Joffre.

“NGL supplies from the Marcellus [shale] and Williston [North Dakota – Bakken shale] will arrive on time and on budget,” he added.

“We will get ethane from the Vantage pipeline by late 2013. Hess is already building gas processing capacity,” said Thomson.

The Vantage pipeline, bringing an initial 40,000 bbl/day of ethane from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, is expected to start running by the end of 2013 and will be operated by NOVA.

US oil and gas producer Hess is building natural gas fractionation capacity in North Dakota.

NOVA will also secure ethane from offgas related to Alberta oil sands production, said Thomson.

“Our strategy is to have a diversified feedstock portfolio with ethane, propane and butane,” said Thomson.

“We are constantly looking for new sources, but I would say we are very satisfied to the point where we can fill out our assets in Joffre 100%,” he added.

NOVA has three gas-based crackers at Joffre. It’s wholly owned E1 and E2 crackers have ethylene capacity of 730,000 tonnes/year and 820,000 tonnes/year, respectively.

Its E3 cracker, which it shares with US-based Dow Chemical on a 50:50 basis, has 640,000 tonnes/year of capacity.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.

By: Joseph Chang
+1 713 525 2653

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