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First ship carrying US Gulf Coast ethane exports leaves Houston terminal

HOUSTON, September 1, 2016 (PCW) – The JS Ineos Intrepid, carrying the first ethane exports out of the Gulf Coast, departed from the Enterprise Product Partners’ Houston terminal on Thursday morning.

The ship is en route to Rafnes, Norway, according to maritime data, and should reach its destination in mid-September. Ineos has a cracker in Norway whose feedslate has been lightened up to consume more ethane. It is currently retrofitting its Grangemouth cracker in Scotland to do the same.

The 27,500 cu m Intrepid was also the first vessel to move the first US ethane out of the Marcus Hook terminal in March.

EPD had hoped to move a cargo in early August out of its 200,000 b/d ethane export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, but commissioning activities were reportedly still ongoing. The JS Ineos Insight, which arrived at the terminal on Aug 1, then moved on to Marcus Hook.

Enterprise executives said recently they expect the facility to ramp up to 1.9 million bbl/month by the end of the year.

Offtakers from the terminal include India’s Reliance, Switzerland’s Ineos and China’s Oriental Energy. -- Samantha Hartke

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