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Borealis’ US ethane exports delayed 9 months to 3Q 2017

HOUSTON, August 25, 2016 (PCW) –- Borealis has delayed its ethane exports from the US to its cracker in Sweden by nine months to 3Q 2017. Shipments had been expected to begin at the end of this year.

Borealis said this was due to “a delay on the side of our supplier, the Marcus Hook refinery.”

The Austrian polymers company plans to import some 240,000 mt/yr of ethane for his crackers in Europe, primarily its 25,000 mt/yr ethylene unit in Stenungsund, Sweden, and 400,000 mt/year cracker in Porvoo, Finland.

In 2014, Borealis signed a 10-year deal with US producer Antero Resources for ethane sourced from Appalachia. Antero has said it would recover about 11,500 b/d of ethane in order to fulfill the Borealis contract.

The supplies would be transported from production fields to the Marcus Hook terminal in Pennsylvania via Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East II pipeline. That pipe’s in-service date has been delayed from the end of this year to 1H 2017. This has likely resulted in Borealis’ announcement this week.

In the meantime, the ship that Borealis has ordered to transport that ethane, the Navigator Aurora, has already been delivered and, according to maritime data, is currently en route to Gibraltar.

The 37,300 cubic meter vessel can transport 20,000 mt of ethane/ethylene and will be the world’s largest vessel of its kind. Shipping sources said Borealis is likely to look for other sources of US ethane for the Navigator Aurora before its contracted cargoes commence. -- Samantha Hartke

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