If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Nova plans ethylene export terminal

The project is one of several ongoing for the Canadian petrochemical maker

by Alexander H. Tullo
March 30, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 14


Credit: Nova Chemicals
Nova acquired this ethylene cracker from Williams last year.

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.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.