Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP said March 29 that it will expand the partnership’s natural gas liquids (NGLs) import/export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel. The expansion project will nearly double the fully refrigerated export loading capacity for propane and other NGLs at the facility to more than 10,000 barrels per hour, while enhancing its ability to load multiple vessels simultaneously. The expansion is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012.
“During the past two years, we have had record demand for our NGL export services driven by increased global demand for NGLs in substitution of more expensive crude oil derivatives,” said Michael A. Creel, Enterprise president and CEO. “Capacity at our NGL export terminal, which is the highest rated facility of its kind in the United States, is sold out for 2011 and virtually sold out for 2012. This expansion will be timely and very cost efficient. Our existing NGL storage and pipeline infrastructure is sufficient to support the export terminal expansion, which will be key in allowing us to meet the projected demand growth and further solidifying the Enterprise terminal as the preferred NGL export location throughout the Gulf Coast.”
The expansion of the partnership’s NGL fractionation facilities at Mont Belvieu, Tex., complements the terminal’s export capabilities. Among the critical services demanded by Enterprise customers is the ability to handle propane containing less than 2.5% ethane. Upon the completion of its fifth NGL fractionator later this year, the partnership will have 375,000 barrels per day of NGL fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu. Coupled with 100 million barrels of NGL storage capacity at Mont Belvieu, Enterprise will have ample operating flexibility to load large quantities of low-ethane propane.