Enterprise Products Partners and Navigator Holdings have formed a joint venture to build a new ethylene export facility along the US Gulf Coast.
The facility will have the capacity to export approximately one million tonnes of ethylene per year. Refrigerated storage for 30,000 tonnes of ethylene will be built on site and will provide the capability to load ethylene at rates of 1,000 tonnes per hour.
The facilities are expected to be in service by the first quarter of 2020. The project is supported by long-term contacts with anchor customers that include US ethylene producer Flint Hills Resources and a major Japanese trading company.
A.J ‘Jim’ Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner, says: ‘This new ethylene export terminal will support the growing production of ethylene on the US Gulf Coast by providing access to international markets.
‘By 2021, the petrochemical industry is expected to expand aggregate ethylene production capacity in Texas and Louisiana by nearly 50% to approximately 90 billion pounds per year. The resulting rapid growth in the supply of US ethylene, combined with increased demand from international markets, like Asia, creates an ideal scenario in which markets abroad are able to diversify their supply by accessing cost-advantaged feedstocks made possible by the shale revolution in the US.
‘This export terminal will also offer diversification opportunities for domestic petrochemical producers who will not have to rely solely on the export market for derivatives like polyethylene.’
Enterprise is also developing a high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage facility at its complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas.
This facility will have a capacity of 600 million pounds with an injection/withdrawal rate of 420,000 pounds per hour. The storage facility is expected to begin service in the first quarter of 12019 and will be able to enable connections to the eight ethylene pipelines within half a mile of the Enterprise ethylene storage system.