A public hearing conducted for the Georgia Department of Transportation by representatives of Kinder Morgan has been set for 5 p.m. Thursday at the Country Inn and Suites on Gen. Screven Way in Hinesville. It is one of five public meetings across the area. Written comments will be accepted until Monday, send to: Jon Chally, King & Spaulding LLP, 1180 Peachetree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. hopes to build a pipeline through the Southeast, including an offshoot that would run through Liberty County.
The overall plan would put a pipeline from Louisiana to Washington, D.C., with the 360-mile offshoot from Belton, SC, to Jacksonville.
According to Melissa Ruiz, corporate communication manager for Kinder Morgan, the Palmetto Pipeline would move nearly 170,000 barrels a day of refined petroleum products — specifically gas, diesel and ethanol. She said the new pipeline would not follow the same path as a natural-gas pipeline being installed by Atlanta Gas Light and the Liberty Industrial Development Authority from Riceboro to Tradeport East.
She said Palmetto’s 16-inch and 20-inch pipeline will be installed farther west on an existing power line corridor through Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glenn and Camden counties.
“The project’s path from Baton Rouge to Belton will be on the Plantation Pipeline, which is already constructed and in service,” Ruiz said. “Palmetto will lease capacity on that pipeline. The new-build portion of the Palmetto project will start at Belton and go through Georgia down to Jacksonville.”
After leaving Belton near Anderson, S.C., this new pipeline will follow the Savannah River to Savannah before turning south.
She said until the pipeline is completed, farms and gas stations along its route will continue to be served by refined-products terminals in the area or via truck or marine transport. After its anticipated completion in summer 2017, she said businesses will have another option for gas, diesel and ethanol.
The pipeline will benefit what she called “destination markets,” including North Augusta, Savannah and Jacksonville. North Augusta, she said, will benefit from a new supply source. It now is constrained by a single pipeline source. All the markets will benefit from a more-efficient pipeline source for ethanol, she said.
“Currently, marine transport is the only source of supply to the Savannah and Jacksonville markets,” she said. “The development of the Palmetto Pipeline will benefit the consumers in these markets because it will promote competition within the markets. That, in turn, could serve to decrease prices, and it will also help to ensure that the supply needs of the markets are continuously served.”
Ruiz said Kinder Morgan owns an interest in or operates about 80,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals, she said.