Enterprise Products Partners LP and Navigator Holdings Ltd. have begun service on a new 30,000-ton refrigerated ethylene storage tank located at the companies’ jointly-owned ethylene export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel.
The ethylene export terminal, located at Morgan’s Point, Texas, features two docks and the capacity to load 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene per year. The new ethylene storage tank will facilitate faster loading, increasing efficiency for customers and enable the terminal, owned 50/50 by affiliates of the two companies, to reach an annual nameplate export capacity of 1 million tons per year, according to a joint company release on Dec. 29.
“Our fully commissioned Morgan’s Point ethylene export facility is the largest and most reliable supply source for waterborne ethylene in the world,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, co-CEO of Enterprise’s general partner who added the terminal is backed by the supply of the entire U.S. Gulf Coast. Ethylene is the primary feedstock for a wide variety of consumer products, including cell phones and computer parts, food packaging, apparel, textiles and personal protective equipment.
The new ethylene storage tank is supplied by a 600 million pound ethylene storage cavern at Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu, Texas complex. Enterprise also has the capability to further expand its underground caverns to accommodate additional ethylene storage, the joint release said.
In the release, the two companies said Navigator Atlas, a 21,000 cubic meter ethylene gas carrier, became the first vessel to utilize the new service when it was loaded on Dec. 23 at the Morgan’s Point ethylene export terminal.
In a statement, David Butters, executive chairman of Navigator Holdings, congratulated all employees and third-party contractors for completing the Morgan’s Point terminal on time and under budget despite a yearlong pandemic.
“We expect the terminal to operate at capacity, utilizing Enterprise’s vast interconnected ethylene platform, and to create strong demand for Navigator's fleet of specialized ethylene capable vessels,” Butters added in his statement.
Based in the U.K., Navigator is the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers and a global leader in the seaborne transportation of petrochemical gases, such as ethylene and ethane, LPG and ammonia.
Meanwhile, with headquarters in Houston, Enterprise is one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, NGL, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals. The partnership’s assets include approximately 50,000 miles of pipelines, 260 million barrels of storage capacity for NGL, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals, and 14 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity, according to the company release.
Congestion delaying LNG shipments via the Panama Canal is expected to last through the peak demand winter months, traders close to the situation said on Jan. 14, although the canal’s regulator said it had made changes to speed up transit.
"The recent fall in LNG prices to record lows has not dented investor interest in setting up new LNG export facilities in the United States," FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee says.
Approval granted by FERC for preliminary work on facility that is expected to produce 3.6 Bcf/d.