MOSCOW (MRC) -- Energy Transfer Partners (ETP; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) says the company’s Orbit ethane export terminal at Nederland, Texas, should be commissioning its first ships in November, reported Chemweek.
ETP is developing the terminal in a joint venture with China’s Satellite Petrochemical.
A first steam cracker nearing completion by Satellite Petrochemical in Jiangsu Province, China, will be online in the fourth quarter of this year, with a second cracker facility also using ethane feedstock scheduled to start up in the first half of 2021, according to ETP’s CFO Tom Long on a recent quarterly earnings call. “For the first time at Nederland we’ll be bringing on 180,000 b/d of ethane capacity, primarily for (Satellite),” Long says. “However, we are chasing other markets. We do anticipate selling ethane to other third parties as early as the first quarter of next year. And we’ll do everything we can to fully utilize that facility on a daily basis, depending on what Satellite actually pulls on a daily basis.”
ETP produced record volumes of natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the second quarter, despite the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on energy demand. As a result, the company has focused its growth capital expenditures on key expansions, including the Mariner East NGL pipeline expansion, Lone Star Express NGL pipeline expansion, LPG export expansion, and the Orbit export terminal. The Mariner East pipeline expansion is on track for an early 2021 completion. “Both domestic and international demand for all natural gas liquids have remained strong even while motor fuel demand has waned because of COVID-19,” Long says. The Lonestar Express pipeline expansion should be complete in late 2020, bringing an additional 400,000 b/d of NGLs from the Permian Basin. The company reached record high fractionation volumes in the second quarter as a result of the start-up of its seventh fractionator in Mont Belvieu in February. An eighth fractionator is under construction and expected to start up in the second quarter of 2021. All the company’s fractionators are at full capacity, says Long.
“LPG demand has remained strong and our LPG expansion projects in Nederland will bring our total export capacity to approximately 500,000 b/d by the end of 2020, further integrating our Mont Belvieu assets with our Nederland assets,” he says.
ETP reported net income of USD353 million in the second quarter, down year on year from USD878 million but up from a net loss of USD855 million in the first quarter.
As MRC informed before, in September 2019, Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical Co. received regulatory approval from the Jiangsu provincial government to ethane from the US in a new polyethylene (PE) plant to be built in Lianyungang, China. The 1.25-million-t/y ethylene facility, on which construction was expected to begin in September 2019, is estimated to cost USD4.2-billion. Completion is anticipated in about one year. Zhejiang will receive the ethane from Energy Transfer Partners, starting in the fourth quarter of 2020, under a 10-year supply agreement.
Ethylene is the main feedstock for the production of PE.
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.