Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) has contracted with Methanex Corp. to support the construction of methanol storage capacity near its Geismar Liquids Terminal (GLT) in Geismar, LA, and will embark on a $58 million expansion of its chemical storage. KMP said it will invest about $58 million to build, own and operate the storage tanks and related infrastructure, including improvements to its existing dock at GLT. The assets will provide marine, rail and truck access in support of a 1 million tonne per year methanol production plant being relocated by Methanex from Chile. The terminal infrastructure is expected to be in service during the second half of 2014, coinciding with the anticipated startup of the relocated plant. Separately, KMP has also acquired Quality Carriers Inc.'s 26-acre terminal located in Chester, SC. The 19-tank facility currently provides storage for a single customer of 35,000 bbl and receives product by rail and distributes by truck.

Japan, whose consumers have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with the high oil-linked prices they've been paying for liquefied natural gas (LNG) (see Daily GPI, Oct. 11, 2012), plans to establish LNG futures trading and offer it on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange by March 2015, according to press reports. Behind the plan are power and gas utilities, trading houses and energy developers, as well as Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Earlier this year, a report from the International Energy Agency said, "...[E]xpanding the role of gas in Asia will depend on regional market conditions that allow the fuel to compete autonomously in local energy markets that are themselves connected to global energy markets. The future role of gas in Asia will depend considerably on how the pricing of natural gas is tied to the fundamentals of supply and demand in the region [see Daily GPI, Feb. 27]."

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