KMEP, partners to develop train-to-pipeline ethanol distribution

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, the Tampa Port Authority (TPA) and CSX Corp. will bring ethanol into the Tampa Bay, Fla., market via a new ethanol unit train-to-pipeline distribution system.

The joint intermodal project involves TPA building rail track and support infrastructure to handle 100-car unit train deliveries and a multiproduct unit train offloading yard at Hooker's Point, in the Port of Tampa. The rail facilities will allow CSX to transport ethanol from Midwest producers to central Florida in 100-car unit trains. The ethanol will then be offloaded into KMEP’s Tampa terminal for distribution to blend terminals and market via pipeline.

KMEP says the project will reduce ethanol delivery’s carbon footprint through more efficient use of rail capacity and pipelines movement and is a safer than trucks for local deliveries. The rail project also will allow TPA to move containers and other general cargoes directly from dock to rail.

KMEP will expand its ethanol receipt and distribution system within its terminal at the Port of Tampa and modify its 2-mile, 8-in. OD Inter-Terminal Transfer (ITT) pipeline to move denatured ethanol from its terminal to all Hooker's Point terminals for blending and distribution to the market.

The companies expect the project to be operational by September 2012. TPA and CSX are investing more than $10.9 million to construct the project’s rail facilities.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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