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Kinder Morgan to spend $170M to expand Houston Ship Channel facilities

Kinder Morgan Inc. is looking to boost efficiency and blending capabilities at its refined products facilities on the Houston Ship Channel through a number of expansion projects worth more than $170 million.

The pipeline giant will spend about $125 million to upgrade its Pasadena terminal and Jefferson Street truck rack, according to an Aug. 14 news release. The upgrades include increased flow rates on inbound pipeline connections and outbound dock lines, tank modifications, an expansion of its methyl tert-butyl ether storage and blending platform, and a new, dedicated natural gasoline inbound connection.

The projects are underpinned by a long-term deal with an unnamed major refiner for about 2.0 million barrels of refined petroleum products storage capacity at the terminal. Kinder Morgan expects to complete the projects by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

Kinder Morgan will also invest over $45 million to build a butane-on-demand blending system for 25 tanks at its Galena Park terminal. The project comprises a 30,000-barrel butane sphere, a new inbound pipeline connection, and tank and piping modifications.

The expansion is backed by a long-term contract with an unnamed "investment-grade" midstream company and is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2020, Kinder Morgan said.

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, owning interests in or operating about 84,000 miles of pipelines and 157 terminals.