Ethanol Pipeline No Longer Pipe Dream

Cindy Zimmerman

Kinder Morgan is getting ethanol moving through the pipeline.

Those attending the Renewable Fuels Association 15th annual National Ethanol Conference in Orlando last month had the opportunity to see the Kinder Morgan terminal in Orlando and hear about the first pipeline in the country to provide commercial ethanol deliveries. “We now have the capability of handling 100 percent of the greater Orlando demand for ethanol by pipeline,” said Jim Lelio, Director of Business Development for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

Florida’s E10 market penetration has increased rapidly in just two short years, moving from virtually nothing at the end of 2007 to almost 100 percent at the end of 2009. The 104 mile Central Florida pipeline, in operation since December 2008, is the only pipeline currently moving commercial ethanol batches to supply major U.S. markets. “Our number one concern is the integrity of that pipeline and maintaining safety of it. We have had no signs of corrosion during comprehensive testing,” Lelio said. “We proved it’s possible and now we are gaining in confidence and looking at different pipelines.” That includes the Plantation Pipe Line from Louisiana to Virginia.

Last year, Kinder Morgan handled nearly 30 percent of total U.S. demand for ethanol, or about 83 million barrels, and this year that is expected to increase to 95 million. The company is the largest independent transporter of petroleum products in the nation, transporting more than 2 million barrels per day.

Listen to or download Jim Lelio’s presentation from the 2010 NEC here:

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