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Kinder Morgan (KMI) Brings Elba Island LNG Terminal Online

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Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI - Free Report) has brought the new Elba Island liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export plant online within a week of receiving green signal from U.S. regulators. This marks the start of production from the first liquefaction unit of the 10 planned trains under the project.

The $2-billion Elba Liquefaction project — located in Georgia — is a joint venture between Kinder Morgan and EIG Global Energy Partners. The midstream giant owns 51% of the project, while the rest is held by EIG Global Energy. Notably, this is the smallest of the LNG export terminals in the country, per S&P Global Platts. The unit that recently came online has a nameplate capacity of around 33 million cubic feet per day.

Start-up activities for the second and third trains are currently in the pipeline, while commissioning processes for the fourth, fifth and sixth trains are proceeding. The company is working on the construction of the rest of the trains. Once the whole project comes online, the facility will likely have around 2.5 million tons per year of LNG for export.

The LNG terminal is expected to help Kinder Morgan to reap profits from growing domestic natural gas production and rising demand for cleaner energy sources around the globe. LNG exports are expected to increase in the coming years. Notably, the Elba Liquefaction project is supported by Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Free Report) . The facility’s total liquefaction capacity is subscribed by the Dutch energy giant.

Price Performance

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Kinder Morgan has gained 31.2% year to date compared with 7.3% rally of the industry it belongs to.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Kinder Morgan has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space are Shell Midstream Partners, L.P. (SHLX - Free Report) and NuStar Energy L.P. (NS - Free Report) . While Shell Midstream sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), NuStar Energy has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shell Midstream’s 2019 earnings per share estimates have increased from $1.52 to $1.59 in the past 60-day period.

NuStar Energy’s third-quarter 2019 earnings per share are expected to gain more than 107% year over year.

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