RIL becomes biggest importer of US ethane in 2017

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Reliance Industries Limited
Reliance Industries Limited

Mumbai : The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Wednesday announced that it has become the biggest importer of ethane from the US in 2017, a development that follows the commissioning of the firm's ethane gas project at its Dahej manufacturing facility earlier this year.

"Reliance Industries Ltd has become the biggest importer of ethane from the US in 2017, followed by INEOS. RIL will ship around 1.6 million tonnes per annum of ethane from the US for its cracker portfolio in India," a company official said at a briefing here.

"RIL has an ethane supply contract in place with Enterprise Product Partners out of their Morgan's Point terminal in the US Gulf coast," a statement said. 

"For 2017 till May, RIL has imported 416 kiloton (KT) of ethane, amounting to a total of nine very large ethane carrier (VLEC) cargoes, which is 19 per cent more than INEOS," it added. 

The ethane will be used as feedstock for RIL's cracker facilities at Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat and at Nagothane in Maharashtra. 

The company said the ethane shipments to RIL constitute 48 per cent of total US exports. 

"Other importers like Ineos, Sabic, Braskem and Borealis constitute the remaining 52 per cent," RIL said. 

The VLECs are used to transport liquefied ethane from the US to the Gujarat Chemical Port Terminal Company's terminal at Dahej, it added. 

In April, RIL announced the commissioning of its ethane gas project at its Dahej manufacturing facility, including the ethane receipt and handling facilities and ethane cracking, all within a record three years.

The project uses shale gas ethane transported from the US, which has emerged as a major producer. 

The project involved securing ethane refrigeration capacity in the US Gulf coast, delivery of dedicated VLECs carrying ethane from the US Gulf Coast to the West Coast of India, construction of ethane receipt and handling facilities, pipelines and upgrade of crackers (to receive ethane) at the Dahej, Hazira and Nagothane facilities. 

The complex technologies in this project involved "marine transportation of cryogenic ethane, handling of ethane at (-)90 degrees centigrade, supply of ethane to the crackers in an energy efficient way and pump ethane from Dahej to other locations," RIL said. 

According to the company, its ethane project "shall ensure feedstock security for India, reducing its net imports."