Targa Resources Partners LP said it plans to proceed with a $250 million expansion of its Mont Belvieu, TX, natural gas liquids (NGL) complex and its existing import/export marine terminal at Galena Park, TX, to provide export capability for 5,000 bbl per hour (b/h) of fully refrigerated, low-ethane propane.

The expansion would complement existing liquid propane gas (LPG) import/export capacity and is in addition to projects currently under way to improve the export refrigeration and loading rates for HD-5 (consumer-grade) propane and butane, the partnership said.

“This expansion complements our substantial and growing operations at Mont Belvieu and integrated NGL logistics business in response to strong customer interest for export capacity,” said Rene Joyce, CEO of the partnership’s general partner and of Targa Resources Corp. “Our 100,000 b/d Train 4 fractionation expansion at [the Cedar Bayou Fractionator at Mont Belvieu] remains on track for start up in early 2013, which will bring the partnership’s total gross fractionation capacity along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast to 593,000 b/d.”

The propane export project would add a propane de-ethanizer, additional salt dome storage at Mont Belvieu, refrigeration and other equipment required to load 5,000-plus b/h of fully refrigerated, low-ethane propane for export at the Galena Park marine terminal. The expansion would allow the partnership to load three to four very large gas carrier class ships per month and is in addition to its existing capabilities to handle multiple medium gas carrier export cargoes of HD-5 grade propane, imports/exports of LPG and petrochemicals and other spot ship and barge business.

The partnership’s Galena Park marine terminal is one of two LPG import/export terminals that operate on the Houston Ship Channel and is integrated with its NGL fractionation and storage operations at Mont Belvieu through an existing pipeline network, the partnership said. The expansion project is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2013.

Last March Enterprise Products Partners LP said it would expand its NGL import/export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel (see Daily GPI, March 30) to nearly double the fully refrigerated export loading capacity for propane and other NGLs to more than 10,000 b/h, while enhancing its ability to load multiple vessels simultaneously. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012.

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