About 400 to 450 contract workers are working on Nova Chemicals’ $1-billion polyethylene plant expansion and more will be added over the summer until reaching a September peak of 800

Nova Chemicals’ expansion on target for startup late next year

The workforce is ramping up on Nova Chemicals’ $1-billion polyethylene plant expansion.

The workforce is ramping up on Nova Chemicals’ $1-billion polyethylene plant expansion.

About 400 to 450 contract workers are on the project and more will be added over the summer until reaching a September peak of 800, a number that will hold steady for about six months.

Expansion of one of Nova’s two polyethylene plants is about 30 per cent complete and on target for startup in the last quarter of next year.

Joffre site leader Rick Van Hemmen said workers will be split between day and night shifts. A new entrance to the site was built on the west end to reduce traffic bottlenecks, although there has been some congestion at certain times.

The company has been working with Lacombe County and enforcement agencies to manage area intersections, as well as paying for additional police coverage to direct traffic when needed.

The peak-period workforce will be similar to that on site during large turnarounds, an almost annual event at Joffre, said Van Hemmen.

“It’s nothing unusual for the site to see those types of numbers for projects for a period of time. This will just be more prolonged period.

“I think we’ll be at the peak through the spring of next year, perhaps into the middle of next year.”

Nova is encouraging car pooling and promotes courteous driving as part of its Good Neighbour strategy.

The petrochemical giant is also in the midst of a $250-million project to refurbish five of 11 furnaces in one of its Joffre ethylene plants. The first has been completed and the other four are expected to follow more quickly now that much of the engineering work has been done.

Meanwhile, construction work on an expanded rail yard needed to boost shipment capacity for the plant expansion has been completed. An additional 13 km of track with room to store another 450 cars has been laid north of the plant site.

New cars will be arriving in coming months and stored in the rail yard until needed.

“They’ll pretty much just sit there for the time being until the (polyethylene) project fires up late next year,” said Van Hemmen.

Nova has committed to a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew — except in unusual situations — to keep the noise down, as well as other noise abatement measures and ongoing monitoring.

Nova sat down with Lacombe County, CN and neighbouring landowners to put together the noise reduction plan.

The company is also looking into building a new stormwater runoff retention pond at the southeast corner of the site. Once a site has been finalized, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development approval will be required.

An existing retention pond that has gradually filled with sediments will be restored and later re-used as a backup. Some historic hydrocarbon contaminants, dating back to the 1970s, will also be cleaned up.

The ponds are used to contain rainwater and uncontaminated runoff from the site.


Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read