US Energy Transfer reveals details on new Gulf Coast ethane terminal

Author: Steven Mcginn


HOUSTON (ICIS)--Energy Transfer Partners revealed on Thursday more details of an ethane terminal that it will build on the US Gulf Coast under a joint venture with Satellite Petrochemical USA.

The joint venture will be called Orbit, and ethane from the terminal will feed Satellite’s cracking facilities in China.

Orbit will also construct a 20-inch (51 cm) ethane pipeline connecting the terminal to Energy Transfer’s fractionators in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

At the terminal, Orbit will construct an 800,000 bbl refrigerated ethane storage tank and a 175,000 bbl/day ethane refrigeration facility.

Energy Transfer will be the operator of the Orbit assets.

Additionally, Energy Transfer will construct and wholly own the infrastructure that is required to both supply ethane to the pipeline and to load the ethane on to Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) for Satellite’s newly constructed ethane crackers in China’s Jiangsu province.

The terminal will be ready for commercial service by fourth-quarter 2020.

As part of the agreement, Energy will provide Satellite with approximately 150,000 bbl/day of ethane, and will also provide storage and marketing services for Satellite.

The terminal is the second US-based ethane export dock for Energy Transfer, with the other on the East Coast at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. Energy Transfer also exports ethane to Canada via the Mariner West pipeline.

Earlier this week, Satellite Petrochemical announced the plans for the joint venture. It will own a 53% stake in the joint venture.

Satellite in September last year announced that it will invest Chinese yuan (CNY) 30bn ($4.75bn) in the Lianyungang project, which includes an ethane cracker, a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant and other downstream units. It will rely on imported ethane and propane as feedstock.

Photo credit: Dinendra Haria/REX/Shutterstock

Image above: ethylene is used to make polyethylene (PE), a resin used to make shopping bags.

($1 = CNY6.32)

Additional reporting by Fanny Zhang