First Pellets, a major milestone

Another step closer on our journey to full operations

Heartland Polymers is proud of the teamwork that helped us achieve a key milestone recently in filling our first railcar with polypropylene (PP) produced by our PP plant in Alberta, Canada. The Heartland Polymers start-up plan is advancing as expected towards integrated, commercial production later this year. In keeping with Heartland’s zero waste approach, initial product will be delivered to distributors with customers who use off-specification product. 

A safe commissioning of our polypropylene plant is a crucial step towards commercial production of Heartland Polymers. The PP Plant has been producing pellets since late June with polymer grade propylene (PGP) from our storage cavern. The entire Heartland Complex remains on schedule for an integrated start-up in the third quarter of this year, at which point Heartland will begin commercial production.

— Jim Madro, Senior Vice President, Petrochemicals

Utilizing the strategic connectivity of our adjacent Redwater assets for polymer grade propylene and propane supply, we are starting-up the facilities beginning with the PP plant, followed by the start-up of the PDH plant later this year. We intend to gradually ramp-up commercial production through the remainder of the year at North America’s first integrated PDH/PP facility.   

Heartland Polymers is anticipated to be one of the most reliable, service-oriented polypropylene producers in the industry.

— Yonas Kebede, Director, Polypropylene Sales and Marketing

“We have rail connections to every major shipping hub in North America, storage-in-transit to expedite delivery times, real-time GPS shipment tracking, and our geographic location means we are less vulnerable to extreme weather incidents that can cause downtime, additionally we have reliable access to one of the world’s largest sources of propane feedstock.”

Heartland Polymers was designed from the start with sustainability, reliability and service in mind. This project was first announced by parent company Inter Pipeline in late 2017 with construction on the Heartland Complex beginning in early 2018. Once in service, the operation will be the first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex in North America. It is also expected to be the lowest emitting operation of its kind. A study by an independent third party reported it expects the Heartland Complex to emit 65% lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than similar operations around the world.  
Due to its integrated nature, the Complex is designed to utilize by-products ethane and hydrogen to fuel power production in the cogeneration unit (CUB) to make up approximately 32 per cent of the operation’s total fuel usage, reducing the total carbon footprint by approximately 130,000 tonnes annually. Due to the design choice to utilize air cooling in the operation instead of water cooling, when fully in service, the Complex is expected to utilize 80 per cent less make-up water than if water cooled. 
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