TAMPA, Fla. Sept. 25, 2012 – The Tampa Port Authority (TPA) is pleased to announce the inauguration earlier today of the Tampa Gateway Rail terminal. This collaborative and innovative public/private project, undertaken by the TPA, CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX), and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), takes the Port of Tampa to new levels of efficiency and intermodal connectivity.
Multipurpose by design, The Tampa Gateway Rail terminal not only brings 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 provides Florida its first on-dock unit train intermodal container capability.
Today’s event included several dignitaries hammering ceremonial spikes into a segment of railroad track, including Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad. Other participants were Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, CSX; Derrick Smith, vice president of emerging markets, CSX; Tom Bannigan, president, products pipelines, Kinder Morgan; William ‘Hoe’ Brown, TPA chairman; Steve Swindal, TPA vice chairman; Larry Shipp, TPA commissioner; Sandy Murman, TPA commissioner; and Pat Allman, TPA commissioner.
The Tampa Gateway Rail terminal’s new track and support infrastructure will 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. Complementing the port authority’s investment, Kinder Morgan invested in new pipelines to transport the ethanol from the rail offloading facilities to its Tampa terminal where it will be distributed to other Tampa terminals for blending or transported to Orlando for gasoline blending at Kinder Morgan’s Orlando terminal.
Designed to also handle intermodal containers and other general cargo traffic, the new facility is immediately 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.
“Today’s ceremony signifies a milestone in the port’s history and provides a strong vision of its future as the energy gateway to West and Central Florida and positioning the port to expand its intermodal reach for container traffic beyond the Florida market,” Charles Klug, interim port director and chief executive, said.
The Tampa Port Authority (www.tampaport.com) administers Florida’s largest and one of the nation’s most diversified ports, handling a full array of cargoes. Also a premier cruise home port, the Port of Tampa is the largest economic engine in west and central Florida, supporting nearly 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact annually.