Houston, Texas – Enterprise Products Partners LP has started up an isobutane dehydrogenation (iBDH) plant in the Mont Belvieu, Texas, the company announced 13 Jan.
To ramp up by the end of January, the facility is supported by long-term, fee-based contracts with investment grade customers, said Enterprise in a statement.
At full capacity, the plant will have the capability to process approximately 25,000 barrels per day of butane into nearly 1 billion pounds (450 kilotonnes) per year of isobutylene.
The iBDH plant will provide feedstock for Enterprise’s MTBE and high purity isobutylene assets to meet growing market demand for isobutylene, which can be used in the production of butyl rubber.
According to Enterprise, supplies of isobutylene, which is also a by-product of ethylene production plants, have decreased as a result of increased use of low-cost, light-end feedstocks, specifically ethane, instead of more expensive crude oil derivatives.
This project leverages the company’s integrated midstream network to turn low-cost natural gas liquids (NGLs) into a higher-valued product.
“The completion of the new iBDH facility extends our butane value chain by allowing us to increase production of both high purity and low purity isobutylene," said AJ Jim Teague, chief executive officer of Enterprise.
The isobutylene, he went on to say, will be used primarily as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber products and fuel additives.
Optimized Process Designs was the contractor for the project, which employ’s Honeywell’s dehydrogentaion Oleflex technology.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Enterprise is a North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals.