TAMPA, Fla. Sept. 21, 2012 – Construction is nearing completion on the Tampa Gateway Rail terminal, a collaborative project undertaken by CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX), the Tampa Port Authority (TPA) and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP). This innovative intermodal project, announced last year as a public-private partnership, will not only bring fuel-grade ethanol into the Tampa market more efficiently and safely via the nation’s first ethanol unit train-to-refined products pipeline distribution system, but also provide Florida its first on-dock unit train intermodal container capability.
For its part, the TPA built new rail track and support infrastructure to handle 96-car unit train deliveries, as well as a multi-product unit train offloading yard at Hooker’s Point, in the Port of Tampa. Kinder Morgan invested in new pipelines to transport the ethanol from the rail offloading facilities to its Tampa terminal where it can be distributed to other Tampa terminals for blending or transported to Orlando for gasoline blending at Kinder Morgan’s Orlando terminal.
“We’re very pleased to be a part of an innovative and efficient logistics solution to providing Tampa and central Florida markets with ethanol,” said Tom Bannigan, Kinder Morgan’s products pipeline president. “We expect this facility to readily accommodate anticipated growth in central Florida biofuels demand.”
Designed to also handle intermodal containers and other general cargo traffic, the new Tampa Gateway Rail facility is adjacent to the Port’s container terminal. It provides direct access to the CSX rail network, enhancing the Port’s container rail service offering. The Port of Tampa Container Terminal, operated by Ports America, currently encompasses 40 acres, with phased expansion planned to over 160 acres on adjacent land owned by the Tampa Port Authority and ready to be developed as the business grows. The terminal is currently served by three rail mounted gantry cranes and a 100 ton mobile harbor crane with 2800 linear feet of berth and 43 water depth alongside the berth and in the channel.
The Gateway Rail project will reduce the ethanol delivery carbon footprint through a more efficient use of rail capacity and pipeline movements, while also easing truck traffic. Further, the project promotes use of biofuels, known for having less impact to air quality.
“This is a tremendous intermodal project that will deliver benefits to multiple customers and commodities throughout the supply chain, as well as the environment,” said Charles Klug, interim port director and chief executive. “Just as important is the spirit of absolute partnership that went into the project from the beginning.”
"CSX and its subsidiary TRANSFLO are pleased to participate in this efficient solution to deliver ethanol to the Central Florida market," said Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, CSX. "This cooperative venture also enhances future cargo growth opportunities for CSX and the Port of Tampa."
Kinder Morgan will expand its ethanol receipt and distribution system within its terminal at the Port of Tampa and modify its 2-mile, 8-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 in late fall 2012. The TPA and CSX are investing more than $10.9 million to construct and open the rail facilities to handle these cargo operations.
An on-site inauguration ceremony, slated for September 25, will include key partners and stakeholders hammering ceremonial spikes into the ground, including Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad. Other distinguished representatives will include Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, CSX; Tom Bannigan, president, products pipelines, Kinder Morgan; Jim Lelio, director, business development and national biofuels manager; William ‘Hoe’ Brown, chairman, Tampa Port Authority; Charles Klug, interim port director and chief executive, Tampa Port Authority; and Zelko Kirincich, deputy port director of operations, Tampa Port Authority.