The Deer Park Rail Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) is set to be retrofitted and refurbished to expand refined product loading for exports, according to Texas Deepwater Partners (TDWP).

Subsidiary Texas Deepwater Deer Park Terminal LLC and an affiliate of USD Group LLC entered into a lease agreement with Shell Oil Products US unit Equilon Enterprises LLC to upgrade the terminal. Shell Trading (US) Co. also secured a diesel supply agreement with an affiliate of USDG.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work jointly with TDWP to operationalize a long-idled asset as we continue to see diesel demand growth in many markets,” said Shell Products Trading & Supply Americas’ Odeh Khoury, vice president. “This project further increases our integration with Shell’s joint venture in the Deer Park Refinery and enables us to further optimize our integrated value.”

Once refurbished, expected by the end of June, the terminal would be able to load up to 48 railcars a day, or around 33,000 b/d of refined products. The facility is equipped with two operational tanks with 50,000 bbl of total storage capacity to service the railcar loading rack at the terminal with direct pipeline connectivity to Deer Park Refinery and the Colex Products Terminal.

TDWP is a 50/50 partnership between USDG and Pinto Realty Partners that has plans in the works to develop an energy logistics terminal on the HSC with storage capacity, multiple docks (including barge and deepwater), inbound/outbound pipeline connectivity, as well as a rail terminal with unit train capabilities.

The entire Gulf Coast has drawn more attention as Lower 48 oil and gas volumes expand, with several pipeline projects on the board to move volumes to the HSC area and farther south near Corpus Christi.

In addition, Enterprise Products Partners LP, which accounts for nearly 40% of U.S. oil export volumes, earlier this month partnered again with CME Group for an electronic auction to offer domestic crude for export from its HSC terminal. Enterprise has a network of 19 ship docks along the Gulf Coast, with 45 million bbl of crude storage and 18 deepwater docks.