By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, June 14 -- A unit of Williams, Tulsa, Thursday said it has an ethanol storage agreement with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Houston, to help meet California's growing supply needs by the fourth quarter.
The announcement came two days after the US Environmental Protection Agency denied California's request to waive the federal oxygen content requirement for reformulated gasoline (OGJ Online Staff, June 12, 2001).
Ron Miller, vice-president of Williams Bio-Energy LLC, said, "We're committed to making a smooth transition to ethanol as an environmentally friendly fuel additive in the California market."
Williams is bringing ethanol supply to California more than a year ahead of the MTBE phase-out, allowing refiners to switch from MTBE to ethanol ahead of schedule, Miller said.
Williams recently signed the storage agreement with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to house 15,000 bbl of ethanol at Kinder Morgan's Carson, Calif., facility, making ethanol available for sale to the Los Angeles and San Diego markets by the fourth quarter.
Williams also has committed to provide a minimum of 100 million gal/year to California by fourth quarter 2002. Williams produces 130 million gal/year of ethanol through its facilities at Pekin, Ill., and Aurora, Neb.
Ethanol will be transported to the storage facility and directly to refiners via large unit rail shipments and ocean vessels. Ethanol-blended fuels account for more than 12% of automotive fuels sold in the US.