Over $1.3 billion in damages awarded to Dow Chemical Canada in contract dispute with NOVA Chemical Corporation


In a challenging and lengthy litigation, NOVA Chemical Corporation has been ordered to pay Dow Chemical Canada over $1.3 billion for breaching joint venture agreements.

Dow and NOVA, two petrochemical sector heavyweights, jointly-own an ethylene plant operated solely by NOVA in Joffre, Alberta. Dow claimed that NOVA broke the contractual arrangements by failing to run the plant at its full capacity between 2001 and 2012, and by taking ethylene belonging to Dow for its own use.

The decision from Madam Justice Barbara Romaine of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench on 20 June 2018 sided with Dow. She agreed that NOVA had taken a portion of Dow's ethylene production, had intentionally run the plant at a reduced capacity to serve its own needs, and was liable to Dow as a result. The damages awarded of over $1.3 billion will be followed by a top-up for any damages accrued after 2012.

The case was initiated by the late Bill Winters together with BD&P's litigation team, who advised Dow for a number of years before being later joined by Bennett Jones and Blake, Cassels & Graydon as joint counsel on Dow's behalf.

Dow Chemical Canada ULC v. NOVA Chemicals Corporation 2018 ABQB 482