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Enterprise’s PDH unit commercial ops expected in mid-2017; IBDH unit announced

HOUSTON, January 30, 2017 (PCW) -- Enterprise Product Partners on Monday announced its 1.65 billion lbs/yr propane dehydrogenation unit at Mont Belvieu is expected to begin commercial operations in mid-2017.

The unit was initially expected to go into service at the end of 2016. The time frame was delayed to 2Q 2017 after cost overruns. The company announced the plant in mid-2012 and, at the time, had an in-service date of 3Q 2015.

The unit is expected to consume 35,000 b/d of propane.

Additionally, EPD announced it would build a new isobutane dehydrogenation unit at Mont Belvieu that would produce 425,000 mt/yr (935 million lbs/yr) of isobutylene. The project is supported by long-term contracts with investment-grade customers and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019, EPD said. The isobutylene produced by the plant will provide the necessary feedstock to fill underutilized capacity at Enterprise’s existing downstream octane enhancement and petrochemical facilities.

The new iBDH plant will increase Enterprise’s production of both high purity and low purity isobutylene to be used primarily as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber products and alkylate for gasoline blendstock, as well as MTBE for export, the company said.

EPD on Monday also said it was extremely bullish on propylene exports and expects to move some 5 million barrels by the end of 2017. CEO Jim Teague noted that in December, EPD sold a 160,000-barrel cargo to Asia, the first propylene cargo EPD loaded to the region in several years, which was also double the typical export size and the largest propylene cargo EPD had ever loaded from its Ship Channel terminal.

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