International Marine Terminals

From Global Energy Monitor

International Marine Terminals is a coal terminal located in Myrtle Grove, Louisiana, United States.

The terminal is operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.[1]


The terminal is located at Plaquemine's Parish in Myrtle Grove, Louisiana, at mile 57 of the Mississippi River.

Loading map...


The terminal has been in operation since 1981.[2] It had an annual coal capacity of 10 million short tons, and exported nearly four million short tons in 2012. It was proposed to be expanded to have a total annual capacity of 20 million short tons (approximately 18.2 million metric tonnes),[3][4] which was completed in 2014.[5]

Kinder Morgan has shipping agreements with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, which both use the International Marine Terminals facility for exporting coal.[6]

Proposed coal expansions

In February 2011, Kinder Morgan entered into a 15-year services agreement with Massey Coal, now a division of Alpha Natural Resources, to handle up to 5.5 million short tons of coal annually. The majority of the coal that would pass through IMT would originate from Massey’s Central Appalachia mines, be transported to IMT by river barges, and then offloaded and stored before being loaded onto ocean vessels for export. Kinder Morgan anticipated a minimum throughput tonnage increase of four million short tons per year related to this agreement.[7] Kinder Morgan said it will invest $70 million to expand storage, conveyor belts and environmental controls at the terminal by mid-2012.[8]

In October 2011, Kinder Morgan entered into a long-term agreement with Progress Energy of Florida to handle nearly four million short tons of coal per year at IMT, starting in early 2013. Kinder Morgan said it was investing approximately $114 million to expand and upgrade the facility by mid-2013 to enable it to handle the incremental coal volumes related to the agreements with both Progress and Massey.[7]

In January 2102 Arch Coal signed a long-term throughput agreement with Kinder Morgan to ship coal through Kinder Morgan-owned terminal facilities. The agreement will be used to support a further expansion at IMT, which Kinder Morgan anticipated to complete in the second quarter of 2014.[7]

On July 17, 2012, Peabody Energy announced that, under new agreements with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, it would gain additional coal export capacity from Kinder Morgan's Deepwater Terminal and Houston Bulk Terminal in Texas, as well as increased access to the International Marine Terminal at Myrtle Grove, Louisiana, south of New Orleans. The planned expansion would more than double Peabody's export capacity along the Gulf Coast to between 5 million and 7 million short tons annually between 2014 and 2020. Much of the coal being shipped from Texas and Louisiana would serve Peabody's European markets.[9]

In January 2014 it was reported that the expansion was already permitted and partially built.[10]

The terminal's expansion to 20 million short tons per year (approximately 18.2 million metric tonnes) was completed in 2014.[11]

Health impacts

Air testing in 2013 by some Plaquemines residents near the International Marine Terminal found elevated fine particulate matter, known as PM-10, that could potentially cause health problems.[12]

Sightline Institute reports

An April 2012 report by the environmental think tank Sightline Institute, "The Facts about Kinder Morgan," , lists a series of legal violations and pollution incidents at various Kinder Morgan terminals. The report includes the following:[13]

  • "In Louisiana, Kinder Morgan’s coal export facilities are so dirty that satellite photos clearly show coal dust pollution spewing into the Mississippi River."
  • "In South Carolina, coal dust from Kinder Morgan’s terminal contaminates oysters, pilings, and boats. Locals have even caught the company on video washing coal directly into sensitive waterways."
  • "In Virginia, Kinder Morgan’s coal export terminal is an open sore on the neighborhood, coating nearby homes in dust so frequently that even the mayor is speaking out about the problem."
  • "In Portland, Kinder Morgan officials bribed a ship captain to illegally dump contaminated material at sea, and their operations have repeatedly polluted the Willamette River."
  • "Kinder Morgan has been fined by the US government for stealing coal from customer’s stockpiles, lying to air pollution regulators, illegally mixing hazardous waste into gasoline, and many other crimes."
  • "Kinder Morgan’s pipelines are plagued by leaks and explosions, including two large dangerous spills in residential neighborhoods in British Columbia."

Project Details

  • Owner: Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
  • Location: Myrtle Grove, Louisiana
  • Capacity (Million metric tonnes per annum): 18.2
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 1981
  • Type: Exports
  • Cost of expansion: US$114 million
  • Financing for expansion:

Articles and resources

Related articles


External resources

External articles