Nova Chemicals Corp. has broken ground on an expansion of its polyethylene research center in Calgary, Alberta.
The groundbreaking took place Aug. 25. The expansion will increase the size of the newly named Center for Performance Applications, which previously was called the Nova Chemicals Technical Center. New testing equipment, including a semi-commercial nine-layer blown film line, also will be installed at the site, officials with Calgary-based Nova said in an Aug. 25 news release.
“The ability to perform critical product and applications development work — and even reimagine how our resins can be used — are key to expanding our innovation capabilities,” said Chris Bezaire, senior PE vice president.
Daryll Harrison, vice president of technology, added that the investments and facilities “reflect [Nova's] commitment to deliver greater value to our customers and to the polyethylene market.”
The expansion is set to be completed in spring 2015. Nova also recently added a total of 300 million to 400 million pounds of PE capacity in Moore, Ontario, by debottlenecking a low density PE line and retrofitting a high density PE line.
In December, Nova became the first North American firm to convert ethane sourced from the Marcellus Shale Basin into ethylene feedstock. The firm also is in the process of building a major new linear LDPE plant in Joffre, Alberta. That plant is set to open in early 2016.
Nova ranks as one of North America's largest PE makers. In 2013, the firm reported total sales of $5.3 billion, up more than 4 percent vs. 2012.