Enterprise Expands Petrochemicals Network with Purchase of Isobutylene Facility

November 2010 Vol. 237 No. 11

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. announced Nov. 19 that it has acquired out of bankruptcy a Houston Ship Channel facility previously owned by Bigler LP that produces high-purity isobutylene (HPIB) and provides terminal services for refined products and petrochemicals. The plant, which was purchased for $38.5 million, has the capability to produce more than 300 million pounds of HPIB annually, a substantial portion of which is under contract.

HPIB is used in the manufacturing of tires, lubricants and other petroleum-based products. Part of a 250-acre complex, the facility offers access to multiple transportation options, including marine, rail, truck and pipelines.

“This acquisition complements our existing natural gas liquids, petrochemical services and refined products businesses and is a natural extension of our nearby Mont Belvieu operations, which will provide the raw materials for the plant,” said Michael A. Creel, Enterprise president and chief executive officer. “The integration of this facility will extend our value chain in the butane/isobutylene market and broaden the products and services offered by our petrochemical services business. Purchasing the assets through bankruptcy reflects Enterprise’s disciplined approach in pursuing acquisition opportunities that make sense financially and fit with our existing infrastructure.”

Opened in 2009, the state-of-the-art facility features four pressurized spheres for the storage of HPIB and butanes. In addition, more than 450,000 barrels of storage capacity is available for a variety of refined products, and is currently accessible by barge. The plant is equipped with multiple truck and rail racks for product movements, along with rail car storage for as many as 105 rail cars. Additionally, the facility is located in close proximity to Enterprise liquids pipelines that transport natural gas liquids and refined products. The barge dock spans 340 feet of waterfront along the Houston Ship Channel and has a 16-foot draft. With a substantial amount of acreage still undeveloped, and improved access to Enterprise’s integrated network of energy assets, the complex offers potential growth opportunities for the petrochemicals group, as well as other business units within the partnership.