New Nova ethylene terminal on the Mississippi

March 27, 2018: Chemical & Engineering News (full link below)

Nova plans ethylene export terminal

Canadian chemical maker Nova Chemicals is working with the oil and gas infrastructure firm Energy Transfer Partners to develop an ethylene export terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The terminal would have the capacity to export 800,000 metric tons of ethylene per year and start up mid-2020.

The partners haven’t set a location for the facility, but it would connect with the a natural gas liquid storage facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas, where Nova operates an ethylene trading hub.

Nova hopes the project would provide a way to ship low-cost U.S. ethylene to overseas plants making derivatives such as polyethylene and ethylene oxide. The company says the project is contingent on customer interest.

Nova isn’t the first company to seize on the idea. Energy services company Enterprise Products Partners and maritime gas carrier Navigator Holdings are also planning an ethylene terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And Odfjell Terminals is considering an export facility for its Houston Ship Channel location.

Currently, the only such facility is operated by Targa Resources on the Houston Ship Channel.

Nova has been aggressively expanding in recently years. The company recently started up a polyethylene plant in Alberta. In Ontario it is expanding its ethylene cracker and building another polyethylene plant.

This year, the company formed a joint venture with its sister company, Borealis, and oil giant Total to build an ethylene cracker and polyethylene plant in Texas. And last year, the company bought Williams Companies’ cracker in Geismar, La. That purchase, for $2.1 billion, also gave the company the trading hub in Mont Belvieu.

The Geismar plant is a merchant seller of ethylene and makes no derivatives of its own. However, at the IHS Markit World Petrochemical Conference earlier this month, Naushad Jamani, Nova’s senior vice president for olefins and feedstock, said the site, on the Mississippi River, has 200 hectares of unused land. “That provides us with ideas and opportunities that we are studying at the moment,” he said.