Rick Van Hemmen

Nova builds on strongest year with expansion plan

About five years ago bleak trends and limited feedstock supplies haunted Nova Chemicals’ Joffre plant.

About five years ago bleak trends and limited feedstock supplies haunted Nova Chemicals’ Joffre plant.

There is a different story to tell this year as it has been the strongest yet for the plant, which further intends to increase its polyethylene production by 40 per cent with the addition of a third world-scale polyethylene reactor as part of the existing facility.

The expansion to the west side of the 900 acre site will cost $750 million to $900 million, community members were told at an open house at the Satinwood School, east of the Joffre plant, Wednesday night.

“We did hear that Nova was slowing down a few years ago and we didn’t know if it was being terminated or what was happening,” said Lacombe County coun. Rod McDermand.

“So I think it is great they are going forward with this. The tax base is a huge asset.”

The polyethylene reactor will be designed to produce between 950 to 1,100 million pounds of low density polyethylene — a substance used in the production of pellets and everyday consumer products such as storage containers and food packaging.

“The expansion will put the company at the front-end of the market place and helps us solidify our strength and position,” site manager Rick Van Hemmen said.

The project, set to be completed in 2015, pending full board approval, will also require additional infrastructure such as a new electrical substation, a flare and cooling tower, a rail loading facility and rail car storage.

Van Hemmen says there will be a 30 per cent increase in rail traffic entering and leaving the site.

“We are trying to actively manage those impacts,” he said.

Nova Chemicals will make application to Alberta Environment and Water for an amendment to its current industrial approval this June, which will include an overview of environmental studies conducted for the project.

Van Hemmen says there will be a 0.5 per cent increase of waste generation and 1.2 per cent of green house gas emissions.

“I haven’t heard many concerns with this,” said newly-elected MLA Rod Fox.

“It looks like they are doing their due diligence.”

“I am all for this,” said retired heavy equipment operator Christian Belzile who is a resident of the area.

“The quality here is better than what is in Edmonton and Calgary.”

The company estimates the expansion will need roughly 150 to 200 tradespeople, with a peak of about 500 workers by late 2014.

Once the polyethylene reactor is operating Nova Chemicals hopes to employ 25 to 35 new permanent employees, along with another 15 to 25 contractor positions.

Nova Chemicals’ Joffre plant is one of the largest ethylene and polyethylene production complexes in the world.

It is located in Lacombe County, east of Red Deer.

For more information email joffresite@novachem.com or visit www.novachemicals.com/joffre.


Just Posted

Man and dog dead after early morning house fire in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Officials say a man and a dog are dead… Continue reading

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

OTTAWA — The federal government is fighting a proposed class-action lawsuit against… Continue reading

May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious plan for the climate

OTTAWA — With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal… Continue reading

Joe Hittel rappels down 12 storey building in Red Deer – again

Eighty four year old Red Deerian was not afraid to rappel down… Continue reading

Indigenous nation in Washington State seeks meeting with feds on Trans Mountain

VANCOUVER — The Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state is requesting a… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Us and them’: influence of Quebec anglos on decline with new Coalition government

MONTREAL — Last March, Quebec Premier Francois Legault made a mocking remark… Continue reading

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

VANCOUVER — Japanese Canadians across the country are meeting to discuss how… Continue reading

Off Canada’s East Coast, a hunt to detect ‘beautiful’ great white sharks

HALIFAX — The great white sharks move torpedo-like through East Coast waters,… Continue reading

ESPN reasserts political talk policy after attack on Trump

NEW YORK — ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to… Continue reading

Tentative agreement averts strike by Quebec provincial park employees

MONTREAL — A full-blown strike by employees at Quebec provincial parks that… Continue reading

Air Force will end search for missing Quebec businessman and his son

MONTREAL — The Royal Canadian Air Force said Saturday it will gradually… Continue reading

Panel orders federal judge to reconsider Trump appeal

WASHINGTON — An appeals court on Friday ordered a federal judge to… Continue reading

What consumers can do as regulators weigh compounds’ risks

WASHINGTON — The government is trying to sort out how to handle… Continue reading

Most Read