Nova to open mechanical recycling plant in Indiana

NOVA Chemicals Corporation is developing its first mechanical recycling facility in Connersville, Indiana.

The facility will process post-consumer plastic films to produce the company’s Syndigo recycled polyethylene (rPE) at commercial scale as early as 2025, delivering over 100 million pounds of rPE to the market by 2026.

The facility will employ approximately 125 people and be one of Connersville’s largest private employers. Connersville was selected because of its access to abundant feedstock supply of post-consumer films from nearby metropolitan areas, and easy-to-access rail service.

The facility will be operated by Novolex Holdings, a developer of packaging products for foodservice and industrial markets, that has more than 15 years of experience in operating plastic film recycling facilities.

NOVA Chemicals will build out and equip a portion of a 1.7 million-square-foot facility on 186 acres to process post-consumer plastic films. The facility will clean, chop and remelt plastic film into small plastic pellets used to make new products, such as packaging for food and drink, e-commerce, heavy-duty sacks, shrink wrap, and more.

NOVA Chemicals plans to expand its recycling footprint over the next several years to help it reach its industry-leading 2030 ambition of 30% recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales.

“NOVA Chemicals continues to show clear leadership in reshaping plastics for a better, more sustainable world,” said the company’s president and CEO, Roger Kearns.

“We are committed to helping our customers achieve their recycled content goals through a variety of business models and we look forward to making more announcements like this as we work to enable a low-carbon, zero-plastic-waste future.”

The company expects to spend between US$2 and $4 billion by 2030 to expand its sustainable product offerings, decarbonize its assets, and build a mechanical recycling business, while exploring new advanced recycling technologies.

“Novolex is proud to collaborate with NOVA Chemicals’ Circular Solutions and is excited by the opportunity to operate this state-of-the art recycling facility in the Hoosier state,” said Novolex Chairman and CEO, Stanley Bikulege.

“Indiana has long been a hub for sustainability, innovation, and business. The new plant will build on our experience of operating both our North Vernon plastics recycling facility in Indiana and our recycling plant in Wisconsin as well as accelerate our commitment to support recycling and the circular economy.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in NOVA Circular Solutions and Novolex of up to $1.4 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once locals are hired and investments are made.

The city of Connersville offered additional incentives, and Duke Energy approved incentives to offset a portion of the energy costs.