The segment of the Aegis ethane pipeline from Beaumont, TX, to Lake Charles, LA, has been completed and is ready for service, owner Enterprise Products Partners LP said Wednesday.

The 48-mile segment, along with the initial 60-mile segment already in service, delivers ethane to petrochemical facilities from Mont Belvieu, TX, to Lake Charles. The final leg of the 270-mile Aegis will run from Lake Charles to the Mississippi River and is expected to be finished by the end of this year (see Daily GPI, March 13, 2013).

“Combined with Enterprise’s existing South Texas system, Aegis will provide shippers with access to a 500-mile ethane header system between Corpus Christi, TX, and the Mississippi River in Louisiana,” the company said. “The Aegis pipeline is supported by customer commitments in excess of 300,000 b/d that ramp up over the next four years. The capacity of the pipeline can be expanded to approximately 400,000 b/d with additional pumps.”

Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu complex is the terminus for more than 3 million b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL) supply pipeline capacity and is connected to more than 2 million b/d of industry NGL fractionation capacity and more than 110 million bbl of Enterprise-owned salt dome storage capacity.

“Aegis will serve as a major ethane supply artery along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, which will include approximately 20 petrochemical facilities representing more than 90% of the nation’s ethylene capacity by 2020,” said Jim Teague, COO of Enterprise’s general partner. “Seamless connectivity to our storage facilities at Mont Belvieu and our existing integrated midstream network has generated strong customer interest in the Aegis project.”

In July during an earnings conference call, Teague said Enterprise’s ethane export facility, under development on the Houston Ship Channel, is on schedule for completion during the second quarter of 2016. “Meanwhile, significant ethane shipping capacity is being built and the world is trying to calibrate to the U.S. now having plentiful ethane available for export,” he said at the time (see Daily GPI,July 30). “We are 80% contracted for this facility. We have negotiations under way with a number of parties. I’m confident that we’ll be sold out by the time it comes up.”