Kinder Morgan completes first commercial shipment of biodiesel

By Nicholas Zeman | June 09, 2009
Posted on July 1, 2009

Shipping biodiesel through a pipeline might not have a direct sales impact for North Alabama Biodiesel in Florence, Ala., but there will be indirect benefits, according to NAB vice president Jeremy Rogers. "The benefit we'll see is in consumer confidence," he said. "There will be more of a temptation for the bigger distributors to use biodiesel now, and that will just increase the availability."

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP announced June 30 that Plantation Pipeline Company is the first in the United States to transport biodiesel for commercial purposes-B5 on a mainline segment of the pipeline. "The company injected B99 into ultra low sulfur diesel at Plantation's Collins, Miss., pump station and breakout tank farm creating a 15,000 barrel batch of B5 that it then shipped to marketing terminals in Athens, Ga., and Roanoke, Va.," KMP stated. "Upon receipt of the product at both facilities, Kinder Morgan performed testing on samples from the batch and found that the samples arrived on specification."

Rogers said this development is good for an industry that has had supply and distribution problems in the past. "Being able to ship biodiesel through a pipeline is going to help ensure that there are significant volumes available in the marketplace," he told Biodiesel Magazine.

There have been concerns that biodiesel shipments on segments of the Plantation Pipeline-and pipeline transport in general for that matter-could lead to "trailback in jet fuel and other types of fuel that follow biodiesel through the system. "If we can work through these issues, we will evaluate the possibility of moving blended biodiesel to every market on the Plantation system," said Tom Bannigan, KMP products Pipeline president.
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