Central Texas' main supplier of transportation fuel, Flint Hills Resources, plans to build a pipeline to carry jet fuel from its terminal in Bastrop to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the company announced Tuesday.
The proposed Bastrop-Austin Texas Pipeline would be a safer, more reliable way to transport fuel than the 8,000-gallon tanker trucks it sends between the two locations more than 100 times per day. Austin is the largest airport in the nation that relies on daily truck shipments for its fuel, according to the company. Flint Hills, which is owned by Koch Industries, is the primary source of jet fuel for ABIA.
Plans for the 10-inch terminal haven't been finalized, but it will probably run from the Flint Hills Resources Bastrop Terminal to the airport, with much of the project using existing public right-of-way along state Highway 71.
Flint Hills says it will fund, build, and operate the pipeline, which will be owned by affiliate BATX Pipeline. Once the project receives permits from governing bodies including Travis and Bastrop counties, the Federal Aviation Administration, the city of Austin, the Railroad Commission of Texas, construction is expected to take approximately six months. Flint Hills Resources will conduct public meetings regarding the project as part of the permitting process, according to the company.
The airport, which is in the middle of an expansion project, regularly sets new passenger records. Fuel shortages and long TSA wait times have sometimes exacerbated the congestion. New fuel-tank facilities — approved by the Austin City Council in 2022 after neighborhood- and environment-related pushback — are under construction at the airport and are expected to be operational by fall 2024.