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NEW YORK, June 30 Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
LP KMP.N said on Tuesday it became the first U.S. company to
make a commercial shipment of a biodiesel blend through a
pipeline and it will move the fuel to and from southern states
along the Plantation duct.
Kinder sent a 15,000-barrel batch of B5 -- fuel that was 5
percent biodiesel and 95 percent diesel -- from Collins,
Mississippi, to Athens, Georgia, and Roanoke, Virginia. The
product passed quality tests.
The volume of further shipments will be "driven by
customers," Kinder spokeswoman Emily Mir Thompson said by
Demand for the fuel has risen as federal mandates call for
increasing levels of biofuels like biodiesel to be blended into
petroleum fuels over time.
Kinder said it was optimistic it would be able to ship
biodiesel on Plantation's lateral Tennessee line serving both
Chattanooga and Knoxville.
The company initially will focus on moving the blends on
parts of the Plantation system that transport only gasoline and
diesel because of concerns about possible "trailback" of
biodiesel into subsequent jet fuel batches.
"If we can work through those issues, we will evaluate the
possibility of moving blended biodiesel to every market on the
Plantation system," said products pipeline president Tom
Bannigan. Plantation carries oil products from refineries along
the Gulf of Mexico to states in the Southeast.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Walter Bagley)