NOVA weighs US Gulf, Canada ethylene to supply possible PE plant

07 May 2013 21:18  [Source: ICIS news]

NOVA weighs US Gulf, Canada ethylene to supply possible PE plantHOUSTON (ICIS)--NOVA Chemical may complete the first polyethylene (PE) plant among the wave of projects that could come on line in the upcoming years, the result of North America's shale-gas boom, the CEO said on Tuesday.

NOVA Chemicals is building a 1bn lb/year (454,000 tonne/year) linear low density PE (LLDPE) plant at its site in Joffre, Alberta.

The company already has approved funding to build the plant, said Randy Woelfel, NOVA CEO. Woelfel made his comments during an earnings conference call.

The $1bn (€760m) cost includes an expanded rail yard, coolant towers and an electrical substation as well as the actual reactor for the new plant, Woelfel said.

Operations should start in late 2015, he said. "That should be well ahead of most other North American PE projects under development."

The plant could be the first among a wave of PE plants that producers have announced, all of which are eager to take advantage of North America's feedstock advantage.

Most North American crackers rely on natural gas liquids (NGLs) as a feedstock, the supply of which is growing because of the advent of shale gas.

Much of the world relies on naphtha, which is derived from oil.

Consequently, North American producers have benefitted from a cost advantage.

NOVA has aggressively pursued these new sources of North American feedstock since early this decade. Already, the company has signed agreements to secure NGLs from the Marcellus Shale as well as associated gas from the Williston basin in North Dakota, an area producing substantial amounts of shale oil.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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