Kinder Morgan receives conditional use permit

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by Reed Anfinson, Editor

A conditional use permit for Kinder Morgan Cochin, LLC, that will facilitate the reversal of the flow of the company’s pipeline was approved by the Swift County Board of Commissioners at its meeting May 7.

Kinder Morgan plans to reverse its Cochin pipeline flow between Kankakee County, Illinois, and its facilities near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Branch Manager Bryan Williams and Manager of Public Affairs for Kinder Morgan Ryan McCreery.

To facilitate that reversal, Kinder Morgan needs to make modifications to its pumps at the Benson terminal and remove a block valve. Because the part of the facility where the work needs to take place is in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood zone, the company is required to get the conditional use permit before any work takes place.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is the owner of the propane terminal west of Benson and the pipeline that supplies it. Last year it signed a 10-year agreement to reverse the flow of its Cochin pipeline system between Kankakee, Ill., and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

The approximately $225 million project will allow Kinder Morgan to transport approximately 95,000 barrels per day of light condensate capacity on Cochin pipeline.

That reversal, scheduled to take place in 2014, means that propane will no longer be shipped south from Canada, filling the large tanks at the Benson terminal as well as supplying facilities along the pipeline. It means that propane tankers will no longer be able to fill up at the Benson terminal with propane for home heating needs or a farmer’s corn drying needs.

It could also mean the loss of several jobs at the Benson facility.
Williams told the county board that there are shippers who are interested in buying or leasing the terminal to maintain the propane service. The facility can be supplied by rail, with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail lines on the north side of the Kinder Morgan property.

When the flow is reversed, Kinder Morgan will be shipping a condensate or diluent from southern Texas to Illinois then through Benson up to Fort Saskatchewan.


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