Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE: EPD) is underway on an expansion of liquefied petroleum gas capacity at a Houston Ship Channel terminal, according to a Sept. 10 press release.
The Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal expansion is expected to be complete in the second half of 2019. It will add 175,000 barrels per day, or 5 million barrels per month, bringing the terminal to total LPG export capacity of 720,000 barrels per day, or about 21 million barrels per month. The expansion will allow the EHT to load up to six Very Large Gas Carrier vessels simultaneously while maintaining the option to switch between propane and butane loadings, per the release. The EHT also will be able to load a single VLGC in less than 24 hours.
“Enterprise is already the largest exporter of propane in the world, and this expansion project will increase our ability to export LPGs from the EHT facility by another 30 percent with nominal capital investment,” A.J. “Jim” Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner, said in the release.
The project’s cost is expected to be less than $50 million, an Enterprise spokesman confirmed.
Teague noted that domestic LPG production currently exceeds U.S. demand by more than 1 million barrels per day and U.S. export terminals are almost fully utilized. By 2025, U.S. LPG production could add as much as another 1.5 million barrels per day, Teague said.
“Without access to international markets, excess LPG supplies would lead to a curtailment in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production growth,” Teague concluded. “Marine terminal expansions like ours will be essential to balancing the market and meeting growing global demand for U.S. hydrocarbons.”
The news comes a few months after Enterprise announced it bought a 65-acre waterfront site on the Ship Channel for the next phase of its Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal. At the time, the company said it also intended to build at least two deepwater docks that can accommodate Suezmax vessels, but more specific plans were still being evaluated. However, the spokesman noted that the EHT expansion announced Sept. 10 only involves modifications to existing onsite equipment and is not related to the recently purchased acreage.
Enterprise is No. 5 on the Houston Business Journal’s 2018 Largest Houston-Based Public Companies List, based on its 2017 revenue of $29.24 billion. It reported net income of $3 billion and 6,700 companywide employees for 2017.
A.J. “Jim” Teague, CEO of Enterprise Product Partners’ general partner