AFPM ’17: NOVA sees strategic synergies in new JV cracker, PE unit

27 March 2017 00:00 Source:ICIS News

Naushad Jamani

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--NOVA Chemicals sees strategic synergies in the planned joint venture cracker between Total, NOVA and Borealis announced on 27 March, a senior executive said on Monday.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work with one of our sister companies – it is the first use of Borstar technology to produce PE in North America,” said Naushad Jamani, senior vice president, Olefins & Feedstock at NOVA.

Jamani spoke to ICIS on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) on the day of the announcement.

“This mixes well with our suite of products as customers increasingly look at complex structures that require different types of resins,” he added.

The Borstar technology comes from Borealis, which is 64% owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which also owns NOVA Chemicals.

The $1.7bn joint venture project includes a cracker with 1.0m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity in Port Arthur, Texas, as well as a new 625,000 tonne/year Borstar PE plant at Bayport, Texas. Total’s existing 400,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) plant at Bayport will be included in the joint venture.

All the ethylene produced in the cracker will go to the PE plants in the joint venture, said Jamani. The grade or grades of PE at the new Borstar unit were not specified.

The joint venture would be established in late 2017, with a final investment decision (FID) on the new PE plant by the end of the year. The cracker is scheduled to start up by late 2020.

In terms of marketing the new Borstar PE, it is “early days”, noted Jamani. “Clearly NOVA is the biggest player in the marketplace [among the partners] so will play a key role,” he said.

Meanwhile, NOVA is still exploring a new 450,000 tonne/year Advanced Sclairtech linear low density PE (LLDPE) project in Sarnia, Canada, Jamani said.

The company expects to make a final investment decision (FID) by the end of the year.

“We are actively pursuing growth,” he said.

Earlier at the conference, Jamani said that NOVA wanted to triple its size in the next 15-20 years. NOVA could not achieve such a fast expansion rate by relying solely on organic growth, he said.

“We remain fundamentally bullish on PE. Demand is growing and there are very few new projects elsewhere in the world,” said Jamani.

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

By Joseph Chang and Al Greenwood