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Tampa set for ethanol project
Originally published:  01/10/2011
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), the US Tampa Port Authority (TPA), and US railroad CSX have unveiled a public-private partnership project that will bring ethanol into the Tampa, Florida, market via the US’s first ethanol unit-train-to-pipeline distribution system. The joint intermodal project involves 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 US producers to central Florida. The unit-trains 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.
“We’re happy to be part of a project that improves ethanol transport within the Port of Tampa and offers quick turnaround time to our customers who are working to meet Central Florida’s growing demand for ethanol,” says KMP. “This project will reduce the ethanol delivery carbon footprint through a more efficient use of rail capacity and pipeline movements and is a safer method of transport than trucks for local deliveries. Further, the project promotes use of biofuels, known for having less impact to air quality. Beyond the transport of fuels, however, the rail project will also allow TPA to move containers and other general cargoes directly from dock to rail. Adjacent to the expanding Port of Tampa Container Terminal, the new facility will create an on-dock unit-train capability for containers. This ultimately extends the Port’s container hinterland potential, providing competitive access throughout CSX Intermodal’s extensive network.”
KMP says that it will expand its ethanol receipt and distribution system within its terminal at the Port of Tampa and modify its two-mile, eight-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. TPA and CSX are investing more than $10.9m to construct the rail facilities to handle the cargo operations.