Expansions: Nova completes LLDPE facility, Corunna ethylene expansion; Sabic, OQ and KPI to develop petchem complex in Oman

Nova completes LLDPE facility, Corunna ethylene expansion

Canadian materials supplier Nova Chemicals Corp. says that its second Advanced Sclairtech technology (AST2) facility and the third phase of the Corunna cracker expansion project have each reached mechanical completion.

Nova said that the world-scale AST2 facility, located at the new Rokeby site in St. Clair Township, Ontario, will have a production capacity of approximately 450,000 tonnes/year of LLDPE. The cracker expansion will provide ethylene feedstock to the new AST2 facility, expanding the existing cracker’s current capacity by more than 50%.

“We’re pleased to have completed the construction phase of the projects and our team is now fully focused on safely completing post-construction activities prior to starting the commissioning phase of this flagship asset,” stated Rob Thompson, Nova’s vice president of manufacturing east. “During unprecedented conditions, everyone involved has worked diligently to bring our vision to reality and we look forward to celebrating the startup of the Rokeby Site with our stakeholders in 2023.”

Both projects represent what Nova calls “a significant investment” bringing new technology, jobs, and long-term economic viability to the region. Since the growth projects began in late 2017, Nova says it has added approximately US$2 billion to the provincial economy and over 7,000 workers were involved in construction.

“Once the growth projects are fully commissioned and complete, an estimated 150 permanent full-time jobs will be added between direct hires and contractors at both facilities,” Nova said. “Post-construction commissioning activities at the Rokeby site are fully underway with several onsite unit operations in the startup phase.”

Nova’s Corunna site produces 900,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and approximately 320,000 tonnes/year of co-products. Corunna provides feedstock to Nova’s Moore and St. Clair River sites, where ethylene is converted into up to 500,000 tonnes/year of PE. Ethane is the primary feedstock for ethylene production at the Corunna site.

In other news, chemical firms Sabic, Oman’s OQ and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) have signed an agreement of a jointly owned petrochemical complex in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (Sezad), Oman. The three companies aim to establish a petrochemical complex consisting of a steam cracker and derivative units and a natural gas liquid (NGL) extraction facility. They will conduct the necessary studies and collaborate using their wealth of technical and commercial experience to develop the project with unique attributes that make it globally competitive and profitable for all three partners.

Sabic, OQ and KPI to develop petchem complex in Oman

Petrochemicals’ demand is expected to continue its growth path as living standards and human development improve, particularly in growing markets close to Oman. The project intends to monetise Natural Gas Liquids and other feedstocks from OQ and KPI’s joint venture refinery, OQ8 in Duqm, to manufacture petrochemical products targeting growing markets linked to energy transition, clean technologies, mobility, construction, durable goods, healthcare and packaging amongst others.

Commenting on this agreement, Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Sabic CEO, said, “Sabic’s collaborative approach has built longstanding relationships of collaboration, delivered innovative solutions and created mutual value for more than 45 years. This agreement enables us to identify and assess opportunities for ambitious and sustainable growth by bringing together our capabilities, expertise and technologies and working collectively with our partners. Our involvement in this well-positioned project is consistent with our growth strategy and Saudi Vision 2030 goals to develop a stronger downstream business, addressing challenges in the petrochemicals industry such as carbon neutrality, and providing diversified and sustainable products.”

Talal Al Awfi, OQ Group CEO said, “OQ is proud of this historic agreement with our partners SABIC and KPI. The agreement is a significant milestone reached between the partners and comes at an important time in Oman along with our 52nd national day celebrations and the near completion of the OQ8 refinery project in Sezad being undertaken by OQ and KPI through the OQ8 joint venture.  This agreement also comes in line with Oman Investment Authority (OIA) plans to attract foreign investments to support realize Oman’s vision 2040 in its endeavour to diversify Oman’s economy”.

KPI’s President/CEO, Shafi Taleb Al-Ajmi commented, “We are pleased to work side by side with OQ and SABIC on this pioneering project in Oman, because working with our regional partners supports KPC's 2040 strategy for growth in the petrochemical industry and enhances integration between the refining and petrochemical sectors. The project also supports the economic growth and development of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm.”

The project intends to deploy state-of-the-art technologies to minimise carbon footprint and incorporate circular economy aspects and commit to high environmental standards.

In addition, the project would also benefit from the location of Duqm being close to markets and taking advantage of the infrastructure which has been developed in the area, as OQ continues in its strategy to help develop Sezad as manufacturing and logistics hub in line with vision 2040.


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