18 October 2011 16:01 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Enterprise Products Partners has started a new fractionator at its Mont Belvieu complex in Texas, the US-based midstream operating company said on Tuesday.
The unit has a capacity of 75,000 bbl/day, increasing the total nameplate capacity at the Mont Belvieu facility to 380,000 bbl/day, the company said.
This is the fifth fractionator for the complex.
“Supported by long-term customer contracts, the new unit provides the fractionation capacity needed to accommodate increasing [natural gas liquids] NGL production from domestic shale plays, including the Eagle Ford and other basins in the Rocky Mountain and Mid-continent regions,” the company said.
Meanwhile, Enterprise has started the construction of sixth unit, which is scheduled to start in early 2013.
The sixth fractionator will also have a capacity of 75,000 bbl/day.
The new fractionators will allow Enterprise to process mixed NGLs at Mont Belvieu, instead of diverting them to a facility in Louisiana.
AJ Teague, the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Enterprise, said the new fractionators are needed to handle increasing demand for NGLs.
“The US petrochemical industry has responded by increasing its demand for NGLs, particularly ethane, which reached up to 1m bbl/day during the third quarter of this year,” he said.
“Based on industry announcements, company research and other reports, Enterprise expects the conversions and expansions of existing petrochemical facilities could result in 135,000 bbl/day of new ethane demand,” the company said. “In addition, construction of new ethylene crackers could generate another 330,000 bbl/day of ethane demand.”
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