NOVA to expand Corunna cracker in Ontario by 20%

18 December 2013 18:41  [Source: ICIS news]

NOVA to expand Corunna cracker in Ontario by 20% HOUSTON (ICIS)--NOVA Chemicals plans to expand the ethylene capacity of its cracker in Corunna, Ontario, by about 20%, the company said on Wednesday.

The cracker has a capacity of 839,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects.

In addition, the company plans to pursue a debottlenecking project at its Moore low-density polyethylene (LDPE) line in southern Ontario and to retrofit the Moore high-density polyethylene (HDPE) line, the company said.

The projects will take place in 2014-2018 under the next phase of the company's NOVA 2020 programme. The estimated value is $300m (€219m).

Meanwhile, NOVA will continue to evaluate whether to build a second Advanced Sclairtech polyethylene (PE) plant. In the past, the company said such a plant could have a capacity of 470,000 tonnes/year.

It could be built in Ontario, the US Gulf coast or elsewhere in the world, NOVA said. If the company pursues the project, it would take place in the final portion of the NOVA 2020 plan.

Meanwhile, NOVA continues work converting its eastern Corunna cracker to light feeds. The project should be completed in Q1 2014.

NOVA also broke ground on a PE plant in June. It will have a capacity of 1bn lbs/year (454,000 tonnes/year) of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), and it will be in Joffre, Alberta. Operations could start in late 2015.

The projects come as NOVA aggressively seeks out new and untraditional sources of natural gas liquids (NGLs), feedstock for the company's crackers.

Recently NOVA signed a letter of intent with a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy, under which the midstream company will build a pipeline connecting the Utica shale in Ohio to the Cochin Pipeline near Riga, Michigan. Kinder Morgan will then move the NGLs to Ontario.

The $300m pipeline will have an initial capacity of 50,000 bbl/day, expandable to more than 75,000 bbl/day, Kinder Morgan said. The pipeline will cover 210 miles (338 km), and it will be called Kinder Morgan Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access (UTOPIA).

The pipeline should come into service in mid-2017, pending NOVA's execution of a definitive agreement during the binding open season process, Kinder Morgan said.

In 2011, NOVA reached an agreement with a Williams subsidiary to receive the off-gases produced from upgrading oil sands. The Williams subsidiary aims to produce up to 17,000 bbl/day of the ethane/ethylene mix for NOVA Chemicals, which will be transported via pipeline to NOVA Chemicals' petrochemical facilities at Joffre, Alberta.

Also, NOVA had struck an agreement with Hess and Vantage Pipeline to buy and transport up to 60,000 bbl/day of ethane from Hess's Tioga gas plant in North Dakota.

NOVA also signed a transportation service agreement with Sunoco to ship ethane feedstock from the US Marcellus shale gas region to Ontario.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Al Greenwood
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