Enbridge has budgeted $500 million in 2024 to expand its infrastructure and presence on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Greg Ebel, president and CEO, announced prior to the company’s investor conference on March 6.

“Today we are announcing accretive new capital investments focused on our U.S. Gulf Coast strategy,” Ebel said. “These accretive investments provide near-term growth in the U.S. Gulf Coast and set the stage for the future expansion through high quality partnerships and embedded organic opportunities.”

At its Ingleside center in Texas, the company plans to acquire export docks and crude storage tanks worth about $200 million. The company has signed an agreement for two marine docks and land adjacent to its facility, along with 2.5 MMbbl of additional crude storage. The expansion will bring the plant’s total storage capacity to 20 MMbbl.

The company plans to use the expansion to enlarge its waterfront and streamline docking and loading operations.

Another $100 million will go towards a 125,000 bbl/d expansion of the Gray Oak Pipeline, which transports oil from the Permian Basin to Ingleside. Gray Oak is a joint venture between Enbridge, Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66.

The company also set aside $200 million for two lines, one each for gas and oil, for the Sparta project, an offshore development by Shell and Equinor. Enbridge and Shell Pipeline will develop the pipeline project.

Enbridge upgraded its EBITDA growth forecast to 5% for the year. Executives said the boost is expected thanks to its $19 billion acquisition of multiple gas utility companies from Dominion Energy last year. The acquisitions, which are divided into three separate deals, are expected to be completed this year.

Enbridge, which operates the largest pipeline system in North America, plans to leverage its position to see continued growth in power generated by natural gas. The company currently delivers 20% of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. and sees the use of natural gas in utilities as a good economic and environmental move, according to company leadership.

“It’s hard to see a future, at least one that’s good for humans, where natural gas doesn’t play a primary role in energy,” Ebel said.

The finished deals will create North America’s largest natural gas utility, delivering about 9.6 Bcf/d to 20 million people. The company plans to invest about $3 billion annually in infrastructure for its natural gas utilities.