For the first time since 2014, DCP Midstream will import propane at its marine terminal in Chesapeake, Virginia. The company expects the first propane ship to arrive in November.
The terminal, which first went into service in 1973, has been used for butane exports in recent years to meet growing export demand from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.
“After hearing from various propane customers in the Chesapeake region, we decided to help service those customers and make propane available once again this winter,” says John Pratt, DCP’s director of wholesale marketing. “This was possible as the demand for butane exports typically softens in the winter as suppliers try and meet the demands of the domestic market.”
The proprietary dock has the capacity to handle one ship at a time – from “handy”-sized ships of 6 million gallons to very large gas carriers. DCP Midstream says the ship schedule this winter is flexible and driven by demand in local markets. Product is sourced from various producers around the world, the company adds, with an emphasis on northwest Europe.
The terminal consists of two 10-million-gallon refrigerated tanks and 330,000 gallons of pressurized storage. It features seven railcar unloading arms with 14 railcar spots and two truck loading/unloading bays. The company says there’s room on-site for additional development.
Chesapeake becomes one of two active propane import terminals on the East Coast. Sea-3 operates a terminal in Newington, New Hampshire.