Rick Van Hemmen

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.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People board and leave at the Century Park light-rail transit station in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

Alberta Health Services declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Revera Aspen Ridge on Feb. 1. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Two COVID deaths linked to Revera seniors residence in Red Deer

35 active COVID cases at seniors residence

Red Deer musician Lorry Boschman has written a song about love in the time of COVID-19. Proceeds from his single, Romance during a Pandemic, will be donated to the local United Way. (Contributed photo).
Local musician records a song about love in the time of COVID-19 — for charity

Lorry Boschman will donate some proceeds to the United Way

Preliminary data shows Alberta’s suicide rate declined in 2020 — but some mental health critics say it’s too early to draw any conclusions since more dire pandemic impacts are only now being felt. (metrocreative stock)
Alberta’s suicide rate seems to have declined in 2020

But some experts say it’s too early to credit the pandemic

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services.  File photo by Advocate staff
Opinion: UCP government reneging on Red Deer hospital funding

Another year, another Alberta budget and another blow to central Albertans. Budget… Continue reading

Seattle Storm guards Sue Bird, right, and Jordin Canada pose for photos Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle after they raised a flag with the team's new logo on it. Bird re-signed with the Storm earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Lille players celebrate after Jonathan David scored his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and Marseille at the Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky, right, passes the ball in front of Argentina forward Sole Jaimes (9) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Alphonso Davies and Shelina Zadorsky have been named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Phelan M. Ebenhack
Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Manchester United's Fred, left, and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park stadium in London, England, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) dunks as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The undermanned Toronto Raptors, down five players and six members of their coaching staff due to health and safety protocols, are scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons in their first action since last Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, left, runs past France players during the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, Friday, July 20, 2018. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, grounded last year by the pandemic, will return for the women in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Chiu
World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

Most Read