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Nova's LLDPE expansion mechanically complete
HOUSTON, September 8, 2016 (PCW) -- Nova Chemicals announced the mechanical completion of its 1 billion lbs/yr gas phase LLDPE expansion in Joffre, Alberta, which will bring nameplate PE capacity at the site to 3.5 billion lbs/yr.
Following equipment testing and startup in 4Q, commercial production of Novapol-branded LLDPE butene products is expected in late 4Q or early 1Q 2017.
It is the first new LLDPE reactor startup in the Americas in ten years.
LLDPE butene spot availability has been reported as tight for much of this year, with production issues and planned maintenance reducing supply.
Notably, LyondellBasell declared force majeure on LLDPE products in May 2016. That force majeure is expected to be lifted later this year, after the company's Morris, IL site resumes production following a major overhaul.
Also, there have been reports of suppliers devoting more reactor time to the production of metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE) grades, at the expense of LLDPE butene production. -- David Barry