Enterprise mulls second PDH unit, cites drop in propylene supply

07 January 2013 16:46  [Source: ICIS news]

Enterprise mulls second PDH unit, cites drop in propylene supplyHOUSTON (ICIS)--US propylene maker Enterprise Products on Monday said it is considering building a second propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility, citing anticipation of a continuing decrease of propylene supplies in the US.

The company plans to launch production at its first PDH facility in the third quarter of 2015, bringing some 1.65bn lb/year (750,000 tonne/year) of new polymer-grade propylene (PGP) capacity to the US market.

Enterprise said it has reached long-term agreements that effectively “sell out” output from the unit.

The PDH plant will be integrated with its existing fractionation assets, PGP storage facilities, 102-mile distribution pipeline system and export terminal, the company said.

“We had very strong customer demand for the remaining capacity in our PDH unit,” said AJ “Jim” Teague, executive vice president and COO of Enterprise’s general partner.

The demand is being driven by the combination of a 38% decrease in propylene supplies since 2006 due to additional ethane cracking and the growing supplies of domestic propane from the US shale plays, he said.

“We are continuing our discussions with several customers that could lead to a second PDH unit or additional propylene manufacturing capacity,” Teague added.

The company did not provide details on capacity or a timeframe for the construction of a second plant.

At least four other US producers are planning to build PDH plants in North America that could bring some 2.6m tonnes/year of new capacity in the next few years.

The figure represents an increase of around 20% compared with an estimated 30bn lb/year (13.6m tonnes/year) of co-product and refinery-sourced propylene produced annually in the US.

For more on Enterprise’s plants, visit ICIS plants and projects

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By: William Lemos
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