Fuel Transportation Infrastructure
Dedicated pipelines, trains, biofuel tankers/barges, and trucks are needed for some fuels, whereas others can be transported over the existing fuel delivery network.
An efficient fuel transportation infrastructure is necessary in order to deliver advanced fuels from their production locations to the network of fueling stations that dispense them. Dedicated pipelines, trains, biofuel tankers/barges, and trucks are needed for some fuels, whereas others can be transported over the existing fuel delivery network. In general, the primary options for transporting relatively small volumes of fuel are rail and trucking. Over time, as fuel demand increases, investment in barges and eventually pipelines can be better justified. This infrastructure enables larger volumes of fuel to be delivered more efficiently and cost-effectively. For example, the vertically integrated Brazilian state-owned energy company, Petrobras, operates an extensive dedicated ethanol transport network via river barges, with the barges constructed by its subsidiary, Estaleiro Rio Tietê. For a given amount of fuel used, barges on the Tietê-Paraná waterway can reportedly move a unit of cargo five times farther than a truck can haul it on a Brazilian highway and 50% farther compared to rail.
Another example is Kinder Morgan, one of the largest U.S. energy companies, which owns an interest in or operates about 75,000 miles of pipelines. Its pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, carbon dioxide (CO2), and ethanol. In 2008, the company claimed to be the first to transport ethanol through a pipeline for commercial use, and it continues to move denatured ethanol and gasoline shipments through its Central Florida Pipeline from Tampa to Orlando. The company also moves biodiesel through its 115-mile Oregon Pipeline that spans from Portland to Eugene.
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