Magellan Midstream Partners has joined ethanol producer POET to continue assessing the feasibility of a dedicated ethanol pipeline. The proposed common carrier pipeline system would transport ethanol from production facilities in Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to terminals in major northeastern markets. Preliminarily estimated to cost more than $3.5 billion, it would span approximately 1,700 miles and take several years to complete.

In addition to technical and economic hurdles, “federal legislation revising the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee program is critical for a project of this nature to move forward,” say Poet and Magellan. Buckeye Partners, another pipeline, withdrew from the study in February.