For Lily Nguyen, building trust was the most important aspect when the team was developing a commercial framework to secure long-term take-or-pay agreements for the provision of propane feedstock to Heartland Polymers. Manager of HPC Supply and Commercial Operations, Nguyen says the framework is unique globally and offers a win-win for supply and demand partners.
“What I’m really proud of with these agreements is that producers appreciate the approach. We said, ‘We’re going to be transparent. We’re in this together.’ Trust in the relationship was absolutely critical. Especially to turn around such long term take-or-pay agreements in the short amount of period that we did.”
We said, ‘We’re in this together.’ Trust in the relationship was absolutely critical.
Leveraging Inter Pipeline’s Network
Securing long-term propane supply agreements is an innovative way for Heartland Polymers’ parent company Inter Pipeline, to leverage its natural gas liquids (NGL) experience and existing infrastructure in new and more sustainable ways. NGL and offgas fractionation is provided through an integrated offgas business that includes the Redwater Olefinic Fractionator, Pioneer I and Pioneer II processing facilities located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, and the Boreal pipeline system that connects these facilities.
“Our framework is a great value add opportunity in terms of diversification for these producers,” she says, “and for us, it’s a natural extension of our assets.”
As Heartland Polymers gets one step closer to operations with the recent shipment of first pellets, Nguyen and her team are thrilled to see their contractual efforts paying off.
“There were lots of different pivots along the way and now here we are. This is very personal to me and it’s hard to put into words just how incredible and monumental this is. I feel extremely fortunate to be part of it,” she says, crediting her talented team and the diversity of experience they brought to the task.
Besides the administration of propane supply contracts, Nguyen’s team is responsible for supplying the Central Utility Block (CUB) with natural gas to produce steam and power, managing the Redwater Olefinic Fractionator integration to optimize feedstock, and commercial operations for the Propane Dehydrogenated facility (PDH) to ensure reliable supply. As Heartland moves closer to being a fully integrated PDH/PP facility, one of the most interesting aspects of this mega project, she says, is knowing how in-demand the product is.
“We touch every single industry, from medical supplies to toys, rugs to rope to currency, food containers, you name it.”
When it comes to Heartland’s brand position – We believe in better – Nguyen says it’s a genuine philosophy that underpins everything they do as a team and an organization. “I believe in better with every fiber of my being because that’s how I approach every day. We’re always raising the bar and working to meet that,” she says with a smile. “It’s taking care of all the small things because that matters, too.”
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