Nation’s First Ethanol Unit Train-To-Pipeline Distribution System Planned

October 2011, Vol. 238 No. 10

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the Tampa Port Authority (TPA) and CSX Corp. have formed a public-private partnership to bring ethanol into the Tampa market more efficiently and safely via the nation’s first ethanol unit train-to-pipeline distribution system.

The joint intermodal project involves the TPA building new rail track and support infrastructure to handle 100-car unit train deliveries and a multi-product unit train offloading yard at Hooker’s Point in the Port of Tampa. The new rail facilities will allow CSX to transport ethanol from Midwest producers to central Florida in 100-car unit trains that will then be able to be offloaded within a 24-hour period into Kinder Morgan’s Tampa Terminal, where it will be distributed to numerous blend terminals and to new markets via pipeline.

Plans call for Kinder Morgan to expand its ethanol receipt and distribution system within its terminal at the Port of Tampa and modify its 2-mile, 8-inch 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 joint effort is expected to be operational by September 2012. The TPA and CSX are investing more than $10.9 million to build rail facilities to handle the cargo operations.

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