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Kinder Morgan Energy to spend $170M on expansion

HOUSTON (AP) -- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Monday that it will spend about $170 million on an expansion project and acquisition to expend its terminal network on the Houston ship channel.

The Houston-based pipeline company said the investment will include the purchase of 42 acres, construction of a new ship dock to handle oceangoing vessels and building storage tanks for 1.2 million barrels of liquids.

Kinder Morgan said it has reached a deal with an undisclosed ship channel refiner to develop six 150,000-barrel tanks and four 75,000-barrel tanks that will connect to its Galena Park Terminal and to the refiner's location.

The property will be used to provide dock services for up to eight vessels a month for the refinery and four vessels a month for Kinder Morgan's terminal, the company said.

"This project will alleviate existing dock congestion among Kinder Morgan's Houston Ship Channel terminals, provide additional export capacity value and be accretive to KMP unitholders upon completion," Jeff Armstrong, president of Kinder Morgan Terminals, said in a statement.

Kinder Morgan units rose 45 cents to $87.70 in afternoon trading.