Canadian Cracker Eyes Utica Ethane, Adding $2B Polyethylene Plant

Corunna cracker site
NOVA Chemicals Corunna cracker site – click for larger version

Shell recently committed to building a “world class” ethane cracker in Butler County, PA, outside of Pittsburgh (see Breaking: Shell Pulls the Trigger, PA Ethane Cracker is a Go!). And as we mention in a companion story today, there are two more ethane crackers likely to be built–in Ohio and West Virginia (see Event Speakers Say More Crackers on the Way in the Northeast). With all of the cracker excitement, it’s easy to forget there’s already cracker plants processing Marcellus/Utica ethane–in the Gulf Coast and in Canada. Waaaay back in 2011 NOVA Chemicals signed a couple of agreements with Marcellus drillers to get ethane to feed their Ontario-based Corunna cracker plant (see NOVA Chemicals Signs Second Agreement for Marcellus Ethane to Feed its Corunna Cracker Plant). Marcellus ethane began flowing to the Corunna plant in July 2013 (see Big News: Marcellus Ethane Now Exporting to Canada Cracker Plant). In 2014 NOVA announced when the UTOPIA pipeline project is done, the Corunna plant will begin to take in Utica Shale ethane as well (see Canadian NOVA Chemicals to Ship Utica Ethane via UTOPIA). In March of this year, NOVA announced a $400 million upgrade on the way to the Corunna plant so it can handle even more Marcellus, and Utica, ethane (see Canadian Cracker Gets $400M Upgrade to Handle More Marc. Ethane). That upgrade will take 4-5 years. The new news is that NOVA is now planning to build a new world-class polyethylene facility near the Corunna cracker, and they’ll spend $1-$2 billion to do it. Behold the awesome economic impact of a cracker…

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