US energy service provider Enterprise Products Partners and gas carrier operator Navigator Holdings have entered into a 50/50 joint venture to build a new ethylene export terminal along the US Gulf Coast.
The facility will have the capacity to export approximately 1m tons of ethylene per year and it is expected to commence operations by the first quarter of 2020.
The project is supported by long-term contracts with anchor customers that include U.S. ethylene producer Flint Hills Resources and a major Japanese trading company.
According to A.J. Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner, the new ethylene export terminal will support the growing production of ethylene on the US Gulf Coast by providing access to international markets.
“By 2021, the petrochemical industry is expected to expand aggregate ethylene production capacity in Texas and Louisiana by nearly 50 percent to approximately 90 billion pounds per year. The resulting rapid growth in the supply of U.S. 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 United States,” Teague 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 U.S. as a reliable and affordable source of ethylene to fuel their petrochemical manufacturing in Europe and the Far East,” commented David Butters, chief executive officer of Navigator Gas.