Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Longview Enters Terminal Option Agreement

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Longview has entered into a one-year option agreement with a Texas company to explore a proposed propane and butane export terminal interested in developing a new facility on the West Coast.

Haven Energy, a subsidiary of Houston-based natural gas-related infrastructure company Sage Midstream, is proposing an export facility to move propane and butane currently being flared in the Midwest to energy markets around the Pacific Rim.

Haven Energy says it’s looking at building a unit train accessible rail unloading facility, storage tanks and ship loading area at the port with the capability to load marine vessels with up to an about capacity of 550,000 barrels. The proposal calls for the cargo to be railed to the port from the North Dakota and South Dakota, then refrigerated and stored on site before being loaded to vessels for export to Hawaii, Mexico and Asia.

The option agreement allows both Haven and the port to evaluate the project; during the yearlong option period, the port agrees not to negotiate with any other party interested in locating a similar facility at the port. Further, the Port of Longview and Haven Energy say they plan to negotiate a commercial lease for port property and dock use and submit permit applications that are required for the trans-shipment facility.

The preliminary concept for the terminal is to place two tall, doubled-walled storage tanks on a 30 to 40 acre tract near the port’s Berth 4. Unit trains of over 100 railcars that are designed to carry propane and butane would use the port’s industrial rail corridor to enter the facility.

Haven Energy estimates the terminal would receive a unit train every day and half and about 30 vessels a year when it’s at full operation.

If built, the terminal could be operational by the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Haven, and would have a capacity of 47,000 barrels per day.