India's Reliance Industries has agreed to procure 1.5 million metric tons per year of ethane from the United States to produce ethylene at a new cracker in India, according to press reports.
The company plans to commission the cracker during the second half of 2016. The facility is expected to double the company's ethylene production capacity to 3.3 million tons per year. Reliance has been an investor in the upstream shale gas sector in the United States for several years (seeShale Daily, July 23, 2013).
"Reliance's investments in shale gas and its existing crackers portfolio in India are a natural fit for sourcing ethane from North America and shipping it to India to attain long-term feedstock competitiveness," the company said in a statement Wednesday quoted by India's Business Today website.
The company did not name the terminal in its U.S. ethane agreement but said it is expected to start operations during the second half of 2016.
Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP has been developing an ethane export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel. It is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2016. New firm, long-term contracts for ethane storage, transportation, refrigeration and loading services at the terminal mean capacity is about 85% sold, Enterprise said earlier this month. (see Daily GPI, Aug. 4). The terminal at the company's Morgan's Point facility will be able to load fully refrigerated ethane at about 10,000 bbl/hour. An 18-mile, 24-inch diameter ethane pipeline would be constructed from the natural gas liquids complex at Mont Belvieu, TX, to supply the terminal.
An Enterprise spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether the Reliance ethane contract is with Enterprise. A U.S. spokesman for Reliance was unavailable.