Caliche to store ethylene in Beaumont salt cavern

Houston-based company Caliche Development Partners, which develops, constructs, and operates subsurface hydrocarbon storage assets and related pipelines in North America, announced Tuesday, May 8, the execution of a long-term storage services agreement for ethylene in its Beaumont cavern.

Caliche will provide firm storage service in a substantial portion of the 600-million-pound capacity salt cavern for its customer’s ethylene and derivative operations in the Golden Triangle area, beginning in the third quarter of 2018.

 “Caliche is pleased with this momentum and believes it is further confirmation that we are filling a market void for producers and consumers of ethylene,” said Dave Marchese, CEO of Caliche Development Partners LLC. “We expect to be fully subscribed for ethylene storage service and plan to support these same customers with NGL feedstock storage service in 2019.”

Caliche Coastal’s fully permitted salt cavern facilities sit on 53 acres atop Spindletop Dome, with an additional 345-acre brine pond site strategically located less than four miles away. When fully developed, the operation will provide producers and end users up to 32 million barrels of purpose-built, salt cavern storage facilities.

According to Caliche’s website, the Caliche Coastal project site is located on the Spindletop salt dome, four miles south of Beaumont and only 52 miles east of Mont Belvieu, Texas.

The site includes existing solution mining equipment (tanks, hydrocyclones, transfer pumps, and a 35 MW substation), and freshwater supply via the LNVA canal, which runs adjacent to the main 53-acre property. It also includes an existing 5 million barrel hydrocarbon storage cavern that has passed recent integrity testing and thorough sonar examination.

With this cavern, Caliche intends to provide additional market liquidity for Gulf Coast ethylene market participants. Caliche Coastal is permitted for an additional seven storage caverns, with a maximum total permitted capacity of 32 million barrels of NGL or petrochemical storage.

The Coastal project also includes a 345-acre brine pond side, located 2.5 miles west of the main 53-acre storage facility. The brine pond site not only includes existing infrastructure needed for solution mining purposes, according to the website, but is also permitted for the construction of several brine ponds, ultimately required for storage service. Caliche has ordered major capital equipment for the project and initiated development and construction efforts necessary to bring the facility’s ethylene storage services to Gulf Coast ethylene market participants in Q3 2018.