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UPDATE: Mariner East flowing ethane to Marcus Hook, ME 2 delayed: Sunoco

HOUSTON, February 25, 2016 (PCW) – Sunoco Logistics late Wednesday announced its Mariner East I pipeline has begun flowing ethane to Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

The pipeline has been transporting some 30,000 b/d of propane to Marcus Hook. Initial start-up of ethane transport had been targeted for the end of 2015 with a ramp-up toward its full capacity of 70,000 b/d in the first quarter of this year.

On Thursday morning, company executives said during its earnings call that ethane began flowing on the pipe in early February. Meanwhile, a Very Large Gas Carrier is already waiting at the Marcus Hook dock and ethane loading is expected in the next few days, executives said. Ineos is expected to transport that ethane cargo to its crackers in Europe.

Going forward, the mix on Mariner East I is expected to be two-thirds ethane with propane taking up the remaining capacity. Currently, the 70,000 b/d pipe is moving about 30,000 b/d of propane.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the Mariner East project, which would increase capacity of the pipeline and transport other NGL and refined products, has now been pushed back to the first half of 2017 from the end of this year.

The company did not attribute the delay to capital issues, but instead cited new timing surrounding securing various construction permits. -- Samantha Hartke

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