The Navigator Europa has become the first vessel to leave Morgan’s Point, the new joint venture marine terminal along the Houston Ship Channel in Texas, owned by Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and Navigator Holdings Ltd. 

Bound for Marubeni Corporation (a large Japanese trading company and long-term terminal customer), the ship is carrying 25 million pounds of ethylene.

Morgan’s Point has the capacity to load 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene a year. Comprising two docks, it will boast a refrigerated storage tank capable of holding 66 million pounds of ethylene by the fourth quarter of 2020. This will increase the site’s ethylene loading capability to a rate of 2.2 million pounds per hour.

It is pipeline-connected to Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu, Texas complex, where a high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage well with a capacity of 600 million pounds is currently being commissioned. 

Enterprise says the system will serve as an open market storage and trading hub for the ethylene industry “through storage, connections to multiple ethylene pipelines and high-capacity export capabilities”.

A.J. Teague, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise’s general partner, said the unprecedented buildout of mostly ethane crackers along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast has created hundreds of jobs and provided a real boost to the local economy. 

Looking forward, he said ethane production “is poised for continued growth and expected to exceed 100 billion pounds per year by 2025,” and added that joining forces with Navigator “complements Enterprise’s integrated pipeline and storage network, including the development of open market hubs for ethylene and polymer grade propylene that help ensure price transparency, reliability and flexibility for petrochemical producers and consumers.”

David Butters, Executive Chairman of Navigator Gas, said he expects this trend for exporting intermediate petrochemical gases to accelerate, benefiting the company’s specialised tankers. “Furthermore, we are working in the development of domestic and international infrastructure projects that will facilitate this important trend,” he added.

Elsewhere, Enterprise is extending its ethylene pipeline and logistics system further into South Texas. Firstly, with a 24-mile pipeline between Mont Belvieu and Bayport, Texas routed through Morgan’s Point, which is expected to begin service in the fourth quarter of 2020. Secondly, with a 90-mile Baymark Pipeline from Bayport to Markham, Texas, which is expected to be completed around the same time. 

It says these pipelines will enable Texas producers and consumers to access the Enterprise open market ethylene storage and trading hub.

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13th January 2020