Nova open house set, comment invited on $750-$900M expansion

Next week the community and other stakeholders will get a chance to comment on preliminary plans for a $750 to $900 million expansion at Nova Chemicals’ Joffre plant.

Next week the community and other stakeholders will get a chance to comment on preliminary plans for a $750 to $900 million expansion at Nova Chemicals’ Joffre plant.

Nova Chemicals will hold an open house on Wednesday at the Satinwood School, 20 km east of Red Deer, in the Clive area, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Plans are to increase polyethylene production by 40 per cent with the extension of an existing processing unit at the Joffre plant — one the largest ethylene and polyethylene production complexes in the world — located in Lacombe County east of Red Deer.

The project would allow the plant to make use of its excess ethylene.

Site manager Rick Van Hemmen said on Wednesday that the open house next week will give the community a detailed overview of the project.

“This is really the first opportunity with this level of detail to open it up to the broader community and go through the same information such as the scope of the project if we get full approval,” he said.

Van Hemmen said it looks like the company is still on track to for the next phase of the project, which is full board approval. He hopes this will happen in the first part of 2013 with construction to be completed in 2015.

While the project is still in the planning stages, Van Hemmen encourages people in the community to attend the open house.

“It is early enough in project development that we have the opportunity, if there is a significant concern, to actually think of some design incorporation that might help that out,” he said.

“We want to make sure to put in designs that are not going to increase noise, we don’t want to increase flaring impacts and we don’t want to have really any kind of external impact as a result of the activities on site.”

This is not the only opportunity that the community will receive to comment or ask questions about the development. Nova Chemicals will be approaching Lacombe County for a development permit — one of the many formal opportunities where community members and stakeholders can provide feedback.

More information can be found in Nova Chemicals’ Siteline March 2012 newsletter posted at www.novachemicals.com/joffre.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com