Enterprise and Navigator form JV to build ethylene export facility


US-based midstream energy services provider Enterprise Products Partners and UK liquefied gas supply firm Navigator have formed a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to build an ethylene export terminal along the US Gulf Coast. 

The new facility will have an annual export capacity of one million tonnes, refrigerated storage space for 30,000t and capability to load 1,000t of ethylene per hour.

Expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020, the marine terminal is intended to cater to the increasing production of ethylene on the Gulf Coast by providing access to ex-US markets. 

Enterprise Products Partners CEO Jim Teague said: “By 2021, the petrochemical industry is expected to expand aggregate ethylene production capacity in Texas and Louisiana by nearly 50% to approximately 90 billion pounds per year. 

“The resulting rapid growth in the supply of US ethylene, combined with increased demand from international markets, like Asia, creates an ideal scenario in which markets abroad are able to diversify their supply by accessing cost-advantaged feedstocks made possible by the shale revolution in the US.” 

"By 2021, the petrochemical industry is expected to expand aggregate ethylene production capacity in Texas and Louisiana by nearly 50% to approximately 90 billion pounds per year."

Teague added that the terminal will also offer diversification opportunities for domestic petrochemical producers who need not rely only on export market for derivatives.

Navigator Gas CEO David Butters said: “The strong, broad interest shown by prospective terminal customers during the initial marketing phase has reinforced our conviction on the critical need for an ethylene export terminal. 

“It is clear that domestic producers value the opportunity to access global markets and international consumers consider the US as a reliable and affordable source of ethylene to fuel their petrochemical manufacturing in Europe and the Far East.”

Enterprise is also building an ethylene salt dome storage facility with a capacity of 600 million pounds at its complex in the state of Texas and a new ethylene pipeline from Mont Belvieu to Bayport of the same state.