Midstream giant Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (KMP - Analyst Report) announced that commercial operations are underway for phase one at the 185-acre Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal Company, LLC (BOSTCO) project on the Houston Ship Channel. Approximately 20 of the 51 storage tanks built during phase one construction are being placed into service, and the remaining tanks will come online during the next six months. This is a joint venture between Kinder Morgan and TransMontaigne Partners L.P. (TLP - Snapshot Report), with the former as the operator with 55% share.
A two-berth ship dock and 12 barge berths are also scheduled to be in service in October. Phase two of construction at BOSTCO is also underway and involves the construction of six, 150,000-barrel, ultra low sulfur diesel tanks, additional pipeline connectivity and high-speed loading at a rate of 25,000 barrels per hour. BOSTCO expects phase two to begin service in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The BOSTCO project is employing approximately 750 local contractors during construction and has hired about 75 full-time employees.
Kinder Morgan is a premier MLP with an impressive track record of distribution growth and financial discipline. The partnership has invested a significant amount in a number of projects that should drive growth in the future.
The general partner of the partnership is owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI - Analyst Report) – the largest midstream and the third largest energy company in North America. It has a combined enterprise value of around $115 billion and owns interest or manages about 80,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals.
Kinder Morgan carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). However, Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) Enbridge Energy Management LLC (EEQ - Snapshot Report) appears more attractive.