“It’s a good day for Sarnia.”
That’s what Naushad Jamani, NOVA Chemicals’ senior vice president of Olefins and Feedstock, said to a group of media and onlookein announcing a widely-hoped-for $2 billion investment by the petrochemical powerhouse on Friday afternoon.
But make that a good day (and the start of many more) for Sarnia-Lambton and even Ontario and Canada.
Certainly, the province believes in the project, enough so that it has given NOVA $100 million in performance-related funds.
Brad Duguid, Ontario minister of economic development and growth, called the announcement a game changer.
There was no word on any investment being made by the federal government as of the NOVA announcement.
While ultimately there will be only 150 new jobs at the site, an industry multiplier widely used by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada suggests the total is likely to be five times that or 750 additional new jobs in the local community.
The project as announced by NOVA includes a new polyethylene facility, located adjacent to the company’s existing Corunna site (at what is now being called the Rokeby site, at the corner of Highway 40 and Rokeby Line).
This plant, with an annual capacity of one billion pounds of polyethylene, will allow the company to grow its business in “high-performance applications,” providing greater supplier reliability.
That facility is being targeted for completion by late 2021, said officials.
A second part of the $2 billion investment will go toward an expansion of the Corunna Cracker, which would increase the current unit’s ethylene capacity by more than 50%, up to the rate currently approved by regulators.
Expected completion of that second part of the project is also targeted for late 2021.
Here is an aerial video supplied by NOVA:
Tom Thompson, regional head of manufacturing at NOVA, also spoke to media on Friday:
Brad Duguid, Ontario minister of economic development and growth, called the announcement a “game changer.”