Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP has agreed to acquire Chevron Petrochemical Pipeline LLC, owner of the Evangeline ethylene pipeline system, for $295 million in cash. Boardwalk plans to connect the pipeline to its Louisiana storage facilities.

The transaction with Chevron Pipe Line Co. is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary conditions, after which Evangeline will be operated by Boardwalk Louisiana Midstream (BLM), a subsidiary of Boardwalk.

The Evangeline system is a 176-mile interstate pipeline capable of transporting 2.6 billion pounds of ethylene per year and is supported by long-term, fee-based contracts. Evangeline transports ethylene between Port Neches, TX, and Baton Rouge, LA, where it interconnects with the BLM ethylene distribution system that includes BLM's storage facilities at the Choctaw Hub.

BLM provides transportation and storage services for ethylene and natural gas liquids (NGL), natural gas storage, and brine supply services for producers and consumers of petrochemicals through two hubs in southern Louisiana. BLM said it plans to connect Evangeline to its storage facilities at its Sulphur Hub in the Lake Charles, LA, area.

"Evangeline is a great strategic fit with BLM, which currently has one of the most extensive ethylene distribution systems in Louisiana. The acquisition of Evangeline will further enhance our ability to provide reliable and flexible ethylene transportation and storage services to petrochemical customers in the growing Gulf Coast market," said BLM President Kevin Miller.

According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data published in May, 10.1 million tons per year of additional ethylene production capacity has been proposed from 2013 to 2020. All but two of the 14 projects tallied by EIA are in either Louisiana or Texas.

In April, BLM was selected to provide ethane and ethylene storage and transportation services to Sasol Chemicals (USA) LLC's proposed large-scale ethane cracker and derivatives complex near Westlake, LA. The project would include BLM drilling and developing two new storage wells, one each for ethane and ethylene, and constructing new pipeline facilities and an interconnection with a third-party pipeline. The new wells would more than triple storage capacity at Sulphur Hub and would create opportunities for additional storage and transportation services for other petrochemical and refining customers in the Lake Charles area, BLM said (see Daily GPI, April 30).

Boardwalk CEO Stan Horton has promised that the partnership would diversify its offerings to improve profitability. Boardwalk has struggled as contracts roll off its natural gas pipelines while its assets are not ideally positioned to take advantage of changing gas flows in the shale era (see Shale Daily, April 28; Feb. 11).