EPP, Navigator plot Houston Ship Channel ethylene export terminal

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP), Houston, and Navigator Holdings Ltd., London, have entered a preliminary agreement to jointly develop an ethylene marine export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (HSC).

Content Dam Ogj Online Articles 2017 07 Enterprise Products Partners Lp Morgan S Point

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP), Houston, and Navigator Holdings Ltd., London, have entered a preliminary agreement to jointly develop an ethylene marine export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (HSC).

EPP would manage construction, operations, and commercial activities of the proposed terminal that, if approved, will be located at EPP’s existing ethane export terminal in Morgan’s Point, Tex., the companies said.

The export terminal would connect to projects currently under construction by EPP to further expand its ethylene infrastructure, including the addition of salt dome storage capacity and a pipeline system.

The proposed partnership between EPP and Navigator—which holds a fleet of 14 ethylene-capable ships—comes as part EPP’s strategy to provide the US petrochemical industry logistical flexibility and an outlet to international markets as ongoing development of US shale reserves continues to provide plentiful, low-cost supplies of natural gas and ethane, EPP said.

Content Dam Ogj Online Articles 2017 07 Enterprise Products Partners Lp Morgan S Point

Formation of the still-unnamed 50-50 joint venture to build, own, and operate the ethylene marine export terminal, however, remains subject to negotiation, execution of definitive agreements, and approvals by EPP and Navigator boards of directors.

EPP ethylene plans

The proposed partnership follows EPP’s April announcement that it would expand ethylene storage and transportation capabilities at the US Gulf Coast to meet growing needs of producers as US ethylene output continues to rise.

At its Mont Belvieu, Tex., complex, EPP is repurposing a 5.3 million-bbl ethylene storage well that will be able to inject-withdraw ethylene at a rate of 2,000 bbl/hr, expandable to 4,000 bbl/hr, the operator said.

The storage well could be completed as early as third-quarter 2018.

EPP also is building a 24-mile, 12-in. ethylene pipeline from Mont Belvieu to Bayport, Tex., with the potential to connect both producing and consuming sites south of the HSC to Mont Belvieu.

As part of the April announcement, EPP said routing of the pipeline through its Morgan’s Point ethane export terminal would provide the partnership future flexibility should it decide to develop ethylene export capabilities at the Morgan’s Point marine terminal.

The ethylene pipeline system also is due for completion sometime near yearend 2018, according to a June 26 presentation from EPP.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

More in Pipelines & Transportation