The first cargo of ethylene has been exported from Enterprise Products Partners and Navigator Holdings’ joint venture marine terminal at Morgan’s Point, Texas.
The Navigator Europa recently departed the facility carrying 25 million pounds of ethylene for Marubeni, a large Japanese trading company.
The new terminal located along the Houston Ship Channel features two docks and the capacity to load 2.2 billion pounds per year of ethylene. A refrigerated storage tank for 66 million pounds of ethylene is also being built on site and will increase the capability to load ethylene up to a rate of 2.2 million pounds per hour. Construction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The facility is pipeline-connected to Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu, Texas complex, where the company is in the process of commissioning a high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage well with a capacity of 600 million pounds. Enterprise has designed the system to serve as an open market storage and trading hub for the ethylene industry through storage, connections to multiple ethylene pipelines and high-capacity export capabilities.
A.J. ‘Jim’ Teague, CEO of Enterprises general partner, says: ‘Because of abundant natural gas liquids thanks to the shale revolution, the US is now a global leader in ethylene production, with an unprecedented buildout of mostly ethane crackers along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs to local economies.
‘Including a second wave of new petrochemical plants now being developed, production of ethylene is poised for continued growth and is expected to exceed 100 billion pounds per year by 2025.
In addition to the new terminal and storage infrastructure are two projects Enterprise is developing that will extend its ethylene pipeline and logistics system further into South Texas, which is a leading growth area for new crackers and ethylene derivative plants.