9/20: U.S. Waterborne Exports of Ethane Soar to All-Time High

U.S. waterborne exports of ethane are on pace to set another record high for the third quarter as Energy Transfer’s Orbit terminal in Nederland, Texas ramps up to full capacity.  The Orbit terminal supplies two ethane crackers in Lianyungang, China owned by Satellite Petrochemical.  Each of the Satellite crackers consumes about 75 Mb/d of ethane, slightly below the 180 Mb/d export capacity of the terminal.  Volumes out of the facility have increased during the third quarter as the second tranche of Energy Transfer’s export contract with Satellite went into effect on July 1st.  Satellite utilizes a fleet of Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLEC) to carry ethane between the US Gulf Coast to its crackers in China. Each VLEC has a capacity of 98,000 cubic meters or about 1 million barrels. 

Total U.S. ethane exports have remained strong despite the pressure of high Mont Belvieu ethane prices and poor global ethylene margins.

Read more in RBN's NGL Voyager.

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