Enterprise Products Partners LP said Tuesday it has signed up enough customers to support its planned 270-mile pipeline header system to carry ethane from Mont Belvieu, TX, to petrochemical plants in the Gulf Coast region.

The Aegis Pipeline would originate at Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu liquids storage complex and carry purity ethane to facilities in Texas and Louisiana. Final design, capacity and delivery points are to be determined by binding commitments with shippers.

“The willingness of shippers to make long-term commitments provides us with the assurance necessary to build the midstream infrastructure that will facilitate additional consumption of domestically produced ethane,” said Jim Teague, COO of Enterprise’s general partner. “Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu storage facilities, which have extensive receipt and delivery capacities for natural gas liquids (NGL), will support the Aegis pipeline with sufficient and reliable supplies of ethane.

“Aegis will provide the distribution network necessary for producers from basins across the country to access growing petrochemical demand. Demand for price-advantaged ethane feedstock within the Gulf Coast petrochemical market is over 1 million b/d and continues to increase.”

Teague has been talking about the development of a Gulf Coast ethane header system for a while. In summer 2011 he told analysts during a conference call that the partnership envisioned “…an extensive header system that would literally stretch 550 miles from Corpus Christi [TX] to the Mississippi River. This impressive project can be accomplished by utilizing existing pipes and adding a modest amount of new pipe,” he said at the time (see Daily GPI, Aug. 10, 2011).

Aegis is expected to begin commercial operations in 2014, Enterprise said. An open commitment period for the project runs through April 9. For information, contact Russ Kovin at (713) 381-7925 or rkovin@eprod.com.

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