(Corrects the cost of the project in the second paragraph to $240 million from $210 million)
By Jarrett Renshaw
NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. said it will add 2.1 million barrels of storage at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals just outside Houston.
The $240 million project - supported by long-term contracts with existing customers - will also include the construction of a new ship dock and other improvements at the Galena Park terminal that will boost vessel load rates.
The new dock and the existing ones at Galena Park will be capable of loading vessels at rates up to 15,000 barrels per hour, the company said.
"The new tankage will provide refined product producers and traders the ability to send more barrels to the water for international exports or to the network of pipelines for domestic use," John Schlosser, president of Kinder Morgan Terminals, said in a company release announcing the project.
The company will now have nine ship docks on the Houston Ship Channel and will double the load rates on existing docks.
"We see continuing strong demand for transporting fuel to the Gulf Coast to reach export markets," Schlosser said.
The logistics company has been on a spending spree lately to capitalize on the flood of domestic and Canadian crude flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company has about $1.5 billion worth of projects under construction or planned with the aim of making Houston the most flexible oil and fuel transport hub in the country.
The build out, executives say, responds to the increasingly dynamic world of physical crude trading in North America, where the variety of available crudes is growing, and is aimed at securing their central position in moving oil from the U.S. shale boom to market.
Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Cynthia Osterman