Canada’s NOVA, US Sunoco explore Gulf Coast ethylene export terminal joint venture

23 March 2018 11:41 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The olefins arm of NOVA Chemicals’ and Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding a joint venture to develop an ethylene export terminal on the US Gulf Coast, the Canadian producer said late on Thursday.

The terminal, which the parties anticipate will start up by mid-2020, is expected to have the capability to export 800,000 tonnes/year of ethylene to the global market.

The project would connect the Lone Star NGL Mont Belvieu LP (“Lone Star”) storage facility at Mont Belvieu, Texas, where the NOVA Ethylene Hub operates, and the Louisiana ethylene market to the export facility via existing pipelines already approved for ethylene transportation, the company said.

Port of Houston 1.
Pictured: the Houston Ship Channel (Source: Houston Port Authority)

NOVA recently announced a separate joint venture with Total and Borealis for a 1m tonne/year ethane cracker in Port Arthur, Texas.

It also purchased an 88.46% stake in an olefins facility at Geismar, Louisiana, from US firm Williams Partners for $2.1bn, which has an ethylene capacity of 885,000 tonnes/year.

“An ethylene export terminal builds upon NOVA Chemicals’ leadership position in the continually expanding North American ethylene industry,” explained Naushad Jamani, senior vice president, Olefins & Feedstock for NOVA Chemicals.

“Together with the 2017 acquisition of our interest in the Geismar, Louisiana Olefins facility and our recently announced proposed joint venture in Texas with Total and Borealis, this project would further extend NOVA Chemicals’ presence in the US Gulf Coast, allowing us to better serve our customers in the Americas.”

The proposed joint venture is subject to sufficient market interest and customary conditions and approvals, including completion of definitive agreements and approval of NOVA Chemicals board of directors.

Energy Transfer Partners is also developing an ethane terminal on the US Gulf Coast to feed joint venture partner Satellite Petrochemical USA's China cracking facilities.

By Niall Swan