Completion of Williams Partners' expanded Geismar Olefins plant in Louisiana has been pushed back again, with the facility now expected to begin manufacturing ethylene for sale some time this month after experiencing an unexpected delay in the final stages of commissioning, the company said Tuesday. The plant was taken down from its final ramp-up procedure after it was determined that a brazed aluminum heat exchanger became plugged, requiring cleaning and maintenance. This additional and unanticipated work is complete, and the plant will be turned back over to operations today to resume start-up. Capacity at the expanded Geismar plant is 1.95 billion pounds of ethylene per year. Williams Partners' share of the total capacity of the expanded plant is about 1.7 billion pounds per year (see Daily GPI, Dec. 31, 2014).
The Rover Pipeline LLC project has contracted for firm capacity on Vector Pipeline to deliver gas to Michigan and the Union Gas Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. The arrangement continues to allow Rover to offer seamless transportation service to shippers from the Marcellus and Utica production areas to markets in the Midwest, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions of the United States, and to the Union Gas Dawn Hub. The Vector capacity eliminates the need for Rover to build through Michigan's Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland St. Clair and Macomb counties. Rover will eliminate 110 miles of pipeline through Michigan and will eliminate the Canadian portion entirely, the company said. Rover still is planned to transport 3.25 Bcf/d with up to 1.3 Bcf/d being transported into Michigan and/or Canada. Plans are under way to make the necessary modifications to the proposed project route and to file the final alignment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in mid-February. Pending regulatory approval, Rover is still expected to be in service from the production areas to the Midwest Hub near Defiance, OH, by the end of 2016, and from the Midwest Hub to markets in Michigan and the Union Gas Dawn Hub by mid-2017.