EPP begins expanded Houston LPG export operations

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) has started operations at its expanded Houston Ship Channel LPG export terminal, increasing its ability to load fully refrigereated propane, butane, and isobutene onto ocean-going vessels. Oiltanking Partners LP owns the marine terminal complex. EPP and Oiltanking also expanded the scope of their long-term terminal service agreement which extends through 2026.

The expansion increased loading capacity for low-ethane propane to about 7.5 million bbl/month from 4 million bbl/month. The amended terminal service agreement will increase EPP’s operating flexibility, including an increase in the number of docks available to load LPG export vessels. Access to these additional docks will support further expansion of EPP’s LPG export terminal.

EPP is evaluating an additional expansion that would increase its propane export capacity up to 10 million bbl/month by as soon as early 2015. Exports can be sourced from EPP’s Mont Belvieu complex, connected to purity NGL pipelines delivering from fractionators around the country as well as many of the pipelines that transport mixed NGLs from most US production areas.

EPP is building two new NGL fractionators at Mont Belvieu, boosting its mixed-NGL separation capacity to 650,000 b/d by yearend from about 485,000 b/d currently. EPP’s Mont Belvieu complex also has more than 100 million bbl of storage and can deliver LPGs to its export terminal at the high flow rates necessary to load vessels for international customers.

The company described the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to begin operations in second-quarter 2015, as complementary to its expanded LPG export dock, improving access to Asian customers. Targa Resources, the Vitol Group, and ConocoPhillips are all also involved in separate expansions US Gulf Coast NGL export capacity (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 104).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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