As major refining companies increase their focus on exporting petroleum coke to world-wide markets, finding a reliable partner who can best barge, store and transfer the product onto ocean vessels becomes a vital business necessity. To help customers achieve this goal, Kinder Morgan Terminals — the largest handler of petcoke in North America — looks to improve its already strong network of strategically located petcoke terminals through more than $150 million in capital improvements.
In the last six months, Kinder Morgan has spent more than $7.5 million in capital improvements at its International Marine Terminals (IMT) facility which is located on the Mississippi River in Myrtle Grove, La., a sign of the company’s commitment to the longterm interest of not just the facility but its customers. While much of the capital was invested in rebuilding hoppers and transition points, the most notable investment was a complete rebuild of the terminal’s South Yard Krupp stacking/reclaiming system. The company further anticipates spending another $3 million in various other improvements for the balance of 2010.
In Port Arthur, Texas, Kinder Morgan and TGS Development are partnering on an approximately $70 million project to construct a new conveyor, stock pile and vessel dock capable of handling a Panamax ship. Kinder Morgan will own and operate the facility, which is being built to handle a new coker expansion project at the Total Port Arthur Refinery.
The companies expect to complete construction and have the facility in service during the first quarter of next year.
A project that is also expected to be complete and in service early next year is Kinder Morgan’s loop project at its Deepwater Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel.
The company is building a new rail loop capable of handling approximately 140 car unit trains, rail dump pit, storage pad and high capacity outbound system. The project is an approximately $17 million investment to increase Kinder Morgan’s coke handling capabilities on the ship channel. Looking north, Kinder Morgan is investing approximately $56 million to
construct and erect all conveyor systems and a new Kanawha Rail Car loader in a coker upgrade project so a major oil company can process Canadian extra heavy crude at its refinery facility in Whiting, Ind. Kinder Morgan entered into a long-term contract to build and operate the facility that will handle approximately 2.2 million tonnes of petcoke per year from the coker unit.
Additionally, Kinder Morgan has plans to build a 350 square foot by 190 square foot covered warehouse capable of storing up to 30,000 tonnes of petcoke. Kinder Morgan will also purchase and maintain a fleet of 190 railcars for transport of the customer’s product. Normal operation will be directly from coke pit to railcar and backup will be to the warehouse to reclaim at a later time. Kinder Morgan expects to have site completion by December 2011 and the refinery expects its first coke to be produced in July 2012.
In total, Kinder Morgan has 20 terminals that handle petcoke for customers. Primarily located in the US Gulf Coast and along the Mississippi River, last year the terminals handled almost 13 million tonnes of petcoke.