NOVA maintenance turnaround starts today

A File Photo of The Nova Chemical Corunna flaring behind the new $2.5 billion expansion project on Rokeby Line in April 2021

NOVA Chemicals has begun a three and a half month shutdown for maintenance and to link the new Cracker Unit unit to the existing plant.

Spokesperson Julia Iacovella says a scheduled maintenance turnaround begins today and will last until early July.

“Beyond scheduled maintenance, inspections, cleaning and repairs, we are also completing sustaining capital work, tie-ins for the Corunna Cracker Expansion project and replacing the flare tip. This turnaround is a key enabling event for the safe and successful start-up of our new polyethylene facility – Rokeby Site – later this year,” she says in a news release.

The Corunna Cracker Expansion project is part of a $2.5 billion expansion of NOVA. The cracker unit and a new polyethylene plant are the biggest investments in the petrochemical industry in Sarnia ever. Officials in the past had said they were to go online in late 2022.

Iacovella says this particular maintenance turnaround has been in the planning stages for four years.

“Turnarounds are important to ensure enhanced reliability of operations. They allow us to complete preventative maintenance and do reliability/improvement work, tie-ins for growth and capital projects that cannot be executed when units are on-line and inspect or address equipment to enhance facility performance,” she says.

Julia Iacovella adds there will be “elevated flaring and some increased noise” in the first days of the shutdown. There will also be increased traffic in the area of the site for the duration of the outage between the hours of 6 and 8 am, and between 5 and 7 pm.