Nova buying majority stake in olefins plant for €2bn

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Photo by Williams Partners LP The Williams Olefins transaction is expected to close this summer.

In a major plastics feedstocks deal, Nova Chemicals Corp. will pay $2.1bn (€1.97bn) for a majority stake in an olefins plant operated by Williams Partners LP in Geismar, La.

The deal for Williams Olefins LLC includes almost 525 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the plant, and Williams' interest in the Ethylene Trading Hub in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

When the transaction closes, Nova and Williams will enter into a long-term arrangement for Williams to transport and supply ethane feedstock to support the plant.

The plant produces almost 2bn pounds of ethylene annually and is located in the US Gulf Coast region, which is North America's largest refining and petrochemical production hub. The site has riverfront access, and the adjacent land represents a significant opportunity for future growth, Nova officials said in a 17 April news release.

Nova President and CEO Todd Karran said in the release that the deal "provides Nova with the opportunity to acquire an operating facility with immediate, positive cash flow, and with access to new customers and the benefits of an experienced workforce."

Nova is based in Calgary, Alberta. Williams is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Williams deal comes less than a month after Nova announced that it was forming a joint venture with Borealis AG and Total Petrochemicals that will include a new 1.35bn pound-per-year capacity polyethylene resin unit in Bayport, Texas.

The proposed JV also will include a new 2.2bn pound capacity ethylene cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, as well as Total's existing 880m pound capacity PE unit in Bayport.

Nova is one of North America's largest polyethylene producers.

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