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Expansion Targets NGL Export Demand

Record demand for natural gas liquids (NGL) capability in the Gulf Coast region has moved Enterprise Products Partners LP to expand its NGL import/export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel.

The expansion is expected to nearly double the fully refrigerated export loading capacity for propane and other NGLs at the facility to more than 10,000 b/hour, while enhancing its ability to load multiple vessels simultaneously, Enterprise said Tuesday. The project 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 Enterprise CEO Michael A. Creel. "Capacity at our NGL export terminal...is sold out for 2011 and virtually sold out for 2012."

Among services sought 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 b/d of NGL fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu, TX. The partnership has 100 million bbl of NGL storage capacity at Mont Belvieu, which it said will allow it to load large quantities of low-ethane propane.

"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," Creel said.

The previously announced expansion of the partnership's NGL fractionation facilities at Mont Belvieu (see Daily GPI, Dec. 1, 2010) complements the terminal's export capabilities, Enterprise said.

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