Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) today announced that it has executed long-term, fee-based agreements that effectively “sell out” the partnership’s 1.65 billion pounds per year propane dehydrogenation (“PDH”) facility that is scheduled to begin operations in the third quarter of 2015. In anticipation of a continuing decrease in supplies of propylene, Enterprise is having ongoing discussions with additional customers that could lead to the development of additional PDH capacity.
In June 2012, Enterprise announced that it was proceeding with its plans to build a PDH facility that would consume up to 35,000 barrels per day (“BPD”) of propane to produce approximately 1.65 billion pounds per year (approximately 750,000 metric tons per year or 25,000 BPD) of polymer grade propylene (“PGP”). This facility will be integrated with the partnership’s existing propylene fractionation facilities that have a capacity of 5.3 billion pounds per year (approximately 2.4 million metric tons or 80,000 BPD), which will provide operational reliability and flexibility for both the PDH unit and the fractionation facilities. The PDH facility will also be integrated with Enterprise’s PGP storage facilities, 102-mile distribution pipeline system and export terminal.
“We had very strong customer demand for the remaining capacity in our PDH unit,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Enterprise’s general partner. “This demand is being driven by the combination of a 38 percent decrease in propylene supplies since 2006 due to additional ethane consumption by U.S. petrochemical companies and the growing supplies of domestic propane from the U.S. shale plays. We are continuing our discussions with several customers that could lead to a second PDH unit or additional propylene manufacturing capacity.”
The weighted average term of our fee-based PDH contracts is over 15 years. These agreements are executed with customers that have, or are affiliated with parents that have investment grade debt ratings. Customers plan to consume the material with respect to three different derivative sectors further diversifying Enterprise’s customer base.