Nova scales back construction projects in Canada
Construction work on Nova's new AST2 polyethylene facility and Corunna cracker expansion projects in Ontario have been reduced by 90%, and commissioning and construction activities on its furnace refurbishment project in Alberta have been paused.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary-based material supplier Nova Chemicals Corp. is making significant cuts in its construction activities.
“We are adjusting construction work on our new AST2 polyethylene facility and Corunna cracker expansion projects in Ontario to temporarily focus on only the most critical work, which will result in a reduction of approximately 90% of our total construction workforce,” Nova CEO Todd Karran said on the company’s website. “It is too early to say what impact COVID-19 will have on our overall construction schedule, and a phased ramp-up will be considered at the appropriate time to allow for the safe completion of construction activities.”
And in Alberta, Karran said, Nova’s commissioning and construction activities on its furnace refurbishment project have been paused. “Commissioning work will resume once we feel confident that the risk of exposure has diminished,” he said. “At this time, it is too early to say when construction will commence. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions based upon business conditions.”
Nova’s manufacturing sites remain operational, and there are currently no impacts on timely delivery of products. “Our customer service, sales, and technical service teams are working diligently from home through all available technologies to ensure our customers receive the same exceptional customer experience as always,” Karran said. “Customers may also place orders, follow shipments, and more on our new CustomerCare platform.”
The chemical industry has been designated as essential critical infrastructure in the U.S. and an essential workplace in Canada. “Despite borders being closed to the north and south, we do not anticipate any issues with cross-border shipments at this time as trade is considered critical and distribution/supply chains in North America are open,” Karran said. “We have adjusted polyethylene and expandable polystyrene production to provide sufficient supply of resins for food packaging, medical supplies, and other high-demand goods.”