EPP to build US Gulf Coast LPG export terminal

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) says it will build a 6-6.5 million bbl/month LPG export terminal at a yet-to-be-determined site on the US Gulf Coast. The terminal will load low-ethane propane and butane onto vessels up to VLGC-class in size. Site evaluations are under way in Louisiana and Texas, with a fourth-quarter 2015 in-service date targeted.

Upon completion of the terminal, and the recently announced expansion of EPP’s existing terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (OGJ Online, Sept. 25, 2013), EPP will have aggregate capacity to load 15-16 million bbl/month of low-ethane propane and butane at its LPG marine terminals. Each terminal will have separate, dedicated pipelines supplying LPG from the company’s fractionation and storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Tex.

EPP’s Mont Belvieu complex includes more than 100 million bbl of salt dome storage and, with the completion of an eighth fractionator this quarter (OGJ Online, Sept. 18, 2013), more than 650,000 b/d of NGL fractionation capacity.

EPP said the expansions are supported by long-term contracts with more than 25 international customers, some of which extend into 2024. The company noted that interest has also been expressed in ethane exports, saying that the new export terminal would be designed to be able to meet this demand as the market continues to develop.

Ethane could be supplied directly from the Mont Belvieu complex as well as via the ATEX and Aegis ethane pipeline projects. EPP expects its 190,000-b/d ATEX pipeline to begin delivering Marcellus and Utica shale-sourced ethane to the US Gulf Coast by first-quarter 2014, reaching full capacity in 2018 (OGJ Online, Aug. 31, 2012). Aegis is a 270-mile pipeline header system to deliver ethane from Mont Belvieu to various Gulf Coast destinations. Enterprise expects it to also enter service in 2014 (OGJ Online, Mar. 13, 2013).

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

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