Kinder Morgan Starts Ethanol Pipeline (KMP)

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Until today, every drop of ethanol used in transportation fuel has been moved by trucks or train cars. This added to the cost of getting ethanol to market and to the amount of total carbon emitted in the production and use of ethanol. No longer.  Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMP) today announced the start-up of its 16-inchethanol product pipeline on its Central Florida Pipeline between Tampaand Orlando.

The company said it spent $10 million to modify the linein order to make it suitable for transporting ethanol, which, due toits water content, could not be shipped on existing pipelines. KinderMorgan expects to spend another $90 million on modifications toexisting racks, tanks, and infrastructure to transport more ethanol.

This pipeline is the first of its kind in the US, and maybe in theworld. The only other project we’ve heard about is an ethanol pipelinein Brazil. The big question now is whether there will be any ethanol tostuff into the pipelines. Ethanol makers in the US are struggling, andit’s not certain that all the 175 or so US ethanol plants will beoperating a year from now.

Paul Ausick
December 2, 2008