Howard Energy Partners has completed two bulk liquid terminal facility expansions at one end of the Texas coast to the other, which together increase its Gulf Coast terminal storage capacity to 2.6 million bbl.

The projects in Port Arthur, east of Houston, and in Corpus Christi, about 300 miles to the south, included three ship docks, three barge docks, unit train loading capacity for up to two trains/day and direct pipeline connectivity through its pipelines to seven refineries.

The San Antonio, TX-based partnership began operating terminal facilities in mid-2014.

“The substantial expansions at our Port Arthur and Corpus Christi facilities signify HEP’s commitment to designing and constructing fully-engineered facilities that are tailored to meet the exact needs of our customers,” said President Brad Bynum, who co-founded the partnership.

“We currently have more than 470 acres for additional Gulf Coast expansion projects, including significant water frontage. We will continue to work closely with our customers to understand their needs and evaluate growth projects that create beneficial results for all participants within the supply chain.”

The Port Arthur facility expansion consisted of 12 tanks, four butane bullets, two barge docks, one ship dock and a 6.5-mile, bidirectional pipeline. HEP now is able to blend gasoline with up to six separate components at delivery rates of up to 40,000 bbl an hour.

With the expansion completed, the Port Arthur facility consists of 16 tanks with 1.35 million bbl of storage capacity and four butane bullets with 360,000 gallons of capacity. It also has 8.8 miles of rail track able to load one unit train a day consisting of up to 94 cars, along with the track capability to handle up to five unit trains simultaneously within the facility. In addition, one ship dock is able to load one 500,000- to 750,000-bbl ship every other day. There also is a bidirectional pipeline, as well as permitting/engineering nearing completion for a second dock.

HEP in 2015 acquired a majority interest in the Port Arthur facility, which is on 450 acres of land on Taylor Basin and Taylor Bayou, about 13 miles from the Gulf of Mexico via the Sabine Neches Waterway. It has inland barge access to the terminal via the Intracoastal Waterway. Two years ago HEP reconfigured the assets from a railcar-to-barge oil operation, to a barge-to-railcar refined products operation. The terminal can handle refined motor fuels, crude and condensate.

Corpus Expansion Keyed To Mexico

The Corpus project recently contracted with an existing customer to load more unit trains at the bulk liquids facility, bound for new destinations in Mexico.

As part of the contract, HEP is acting as an agent to assist with oversight of the engineering, procurement and construction of a receiving terminal planned in northern Mexico. Once completed later this year, the terminal would increase the use of HEP’s 65,000 b/d rail loading facility. HEP now delivers about 35,000 b/d of refined petroleum products by unit train to central Mexico, including to San Jose Iturbide and Irapuato within the state of Guanajuato.

The terminal project, which sits on 41 acres within the Port of Corpus, now consists of six tanks with 480,000 bbl of storage capacity, a ship dock, a 12-inch diameter pipeline with connectivity to six local refineries and unit train loading facilities capable of loading one unit train a day.

The Corpus terminal is expandable up to 2.5 million bbl of total storage capacity and is permitted for expansion by up to 1.2 million bbl, according to HEP. Additionally, the partnership and the Port of Corpus Christi are jointly funding engineering and permitting of a new Suezmax class dock, which would be able to transport refined products, crude, condensates, natural gas liquids and liquid petroleum gases.

The expansions coincide with HEP and WPX Energy Inc.’s planned oil and natural gas midstream infrastructure project in the Permian Basin’s Delaware sub-basin, enabling more opportunities to move supply south. HEP and NextEra Energy Partners also are eyeing a plan to develop more natural gas transportation projects in the Eagle Ford Shale with an eye on export markets, including to Mexico.