Colonial Completes Expansion Of Distillate Mainline

September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9

Colonial Pipeline announced completion on July 31 of the final phase of a 75,000 bpd increase to the capacity of its primary distillate pipeline, which originates in Houston and serves the Southern and Eastern U.S.

The previously announced project was accomplished through the enhancement of pumps, motors and existing operations at 17 Colonial locations but did not require laying additional pipe, Colonial CEO Tim Felt said in announcing the 15-month project’s completion.

The distillate line, which generally runs parallel to Colonial’s main gasoline pipeline from Houston to Greensboro, NC, carries diesel fuel (including Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel or ULSD), jet fuel for commercial aviation, military fuels and home heating oil as well as other refined petroleum products.

The line supplies Colonial’s large tank farm in Greensboro from where additional Colonial pipelines transport the products for further delivery to markets in the Northeast. The Houston-to-Greensboro line’s overall capacity is now approximately 1.15 million barrels – or about 50 million gallons – a day.

“We are extremely pleased to complete this project at a time when our customers increasingly are relying on Colonial to serve their markets,” Felt said. “In addition, I am very proud of the careful planning and review that went into ensuring this improved service was done safely, as all of our operations must be.”

An initial phase of the project added 20,000 bpd to Colonial’s capacity, while the final phase achieved an additional 55,000 barrels of daily capacity for Colonial’s main distillate line.

As the additional capacity is phased into the Colonial system, customers should see increases in their allocation levels that reflect the increased available capacity.

Felt said customers’ input into Colonial’s expansion plans continues to help guide the company’s growth. A 100,000 bpd increase in capacity for the Northeast was completed in late 2011.

Colonial is also currently constructing two additional mainline capacity expansions: 100,000 bpd capacity increase on Colonial’s main gasoline line from Houston to Greensboro, and an additional capacity expansion of 60,000 bpd for the line serving the Northeast. Each of these expansions is under way and scheduled to be operational by mid-2013.