|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
Our marine transportation business is subject to regulation, including by the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Coast Guard (“USCG”). For information regarding these regulations, see “Regulatory Matters – Federal Regulation of Marine Operations,” within this Part I, Item 1 and 2 discussion.
Ethylene export terminal and related operations
In April 2017, we announced two expansion projects that will further develop our ethylene infrastructure in the Houston, Texas area. First, we plan to repurpose a large, high-capacity ethane storage well at our Mont Belvieu, Texas complex into ethylene storage. Following completion of this project, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018, the 5.3 MMBbl cavern will be able to inject/withdraw ethylene at a rate of 210,000 pounds per hour (or approximately 2,000 barrels per hour) and is expandable to 420,000 pounds per hour (or approximately 4,000 barrels per hour). There are eight third party ethylene pipelines within a half-mile of the ethylene storage system, providing significant connectivity opportunities for the high-capacity system.
Further supporting our ethylene capabilities, we also plan to build a 24-mile, 12-inch or larger diameter ethylene pipeline extending from Mont Belvieu to Bayport, Texas. The new pipeline would have the potential to connect both producing and consuming customers located south of the Houston Ship Channel to our facility in Mont Belvieu.
Ethylene Export Marine Terminal
In January 2018, we announced the formation of a new 50/50 joint venture with Navigator Holdings Ltd. (“Navigator”) to construct, own and operate an ethylene export facility along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The export facility is expected to have the capacity to export approximately 1 million tons of ethylene per year, with loading rates of approximately 1,000 tons per hour. In addition, the facility is expected to include refrigerated storage for 30,000 tons of ethylene. The project, which is underwritten by long-term contracts with customers, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. The location and final investment decisions for the terminal are subject to reaching acceptable arrangements with local taxing authorities.
The following information describes the principal effects of regulation on our business activities, including those regulations involving safety and environmental matters and the rates we charge customers for transportation services.
The safe operation of our pipelines and other assets is a top priority of our partnership. We are committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public and those working on our behalf by conducting our business activities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Occupational Safety and Health
Certain of our facilities are subject to the general industry requirements of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, as amended (“OSHA”), and comparable state statutes. We believe we are in material compliance with OSHA and the similar state requirements, including general industry standards, record keeping requirements and monitoring of occupational exposures of employees.
Certain of our facilities are subject to OSHA Process Safety Management (“PSM”) regulations, which are designed to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive chemicals. These regulations apply to any process involving a chemical at or above a specified threshold (as defined in the regulations) or any process which involves certain flammable gases or liquids. In addition, we are subject to the Risk Management Plan regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) at certain facilities. These regulations are intended to complement the OSHA PSM regulations. These EPA regulations require us to develop and implement a risk management program that includes a five-year accident history report, an offsite consequence analysis process, a prevention program and an emergency response program. We believe we are operating in material compliance with the OSHA PSM regulations and the EPA’s Risk Management Plan requirements.