NOVA's plant in Ontario is the first to crack Marcellus ethane

16 January 2014 20:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--NOVA Chemicals' plant in Corunna, Ontario, in Canada has cracked the first barrels of ethane from the Marcellus shale in the northeastern US, the company said on Thursday.

NOVA has plans to run up to 100% light feeds at the cracker.

The cracker has a capacity of 1.8bn lb/year (816,000 tonnes/year) of ethylene, and NOVA plans to expand its capacity by 20%.

The development of the Marcellus was made possible by the advent of shale gas, which opened new formations to energy development.

NOVA aggressively secured these new sources of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and signed agreements with midstream companies to secure supplies.

NOVA's Corunna cracker is just the start of several projects that intend to exploit NGLs from the Marcellus.

Enterprise Products has started injecting ethane into the Appalachia to Texas (ATEX) Express pipeline.

ATEX will have an initial capacity of 125,000 bbl/day, expandable to at least 265,000 bbl/day.

INEOS has reached a 15-year agreement to ship ethane from the US east coast to its European crackers. The ethane would be supplied to the export terminals by the Mariner East pipeline.

Also, Williams and Boardwalk are building an NGL pipeline from the Marcellus. It will have a capacity of 200,000 bbl/day. 

Shell is considering plans for a petrochemical complex in Pennsylvania.

Odebrecht, Brazil's major contractor, is considering developing an ethane cracker and three polyethylene (PE) plants in a project called Ascent, short for Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise.

Odebrecht would oversee Ascent’s investment and financing as well as the operation of water and electric utilities. Brazil-based Braskem would be responsible for petrochemical-related activities as well as the marketing of the PE.

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By: Al Greenwood
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