Kinder Morgan Inc. is getting a partner on its planned Utopia Pipeline across northern Ohio.

The Texas-based pipeline giant announced on Tuesday  that it had sold a 50 percent equity interest in the project to Riverstone Investment Group LLC of New York City.

To acquire its ownership interest, Riverstone agreed to an upfront cash payment provided at closing, consisting of reimbursement to Kinder Morgan for its 50 percent share of prior capital expenditures related to the project and a payment in excess of capital expenditures to recognize the value created by Kinder Morgan in developing the project to this stage.

Riverstone has also agreed to fund its share of future capital expenditures necessary to complete construction and commissioning of the pipeline.

The $500 million pipeline is planned to carry liquids from Ohio’s Utica Shale to Fulton County near Toledo where it would connect to an existing pipeline. It would run about 215 miles from the eastern terminus in Harrison County. Locally, it would pass through southern Stark and Wayne counties.

The pipeline, 12 inches in diameter, will ship about 50,000 barrels of liquids per day. That could be boosted in the future.

Construction would likely take place in 2017 and the line could begin services in late 2017 or early 2018.

The name Utopia stands for Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access.

The liquids, including ethane and propane, would be shipped to NOVA Chemicals Corp. for use as feedstock for producing plastics at its plant in Corunna, Ontario. There is capacity for additional customers.

“The Utopia pipeline will connect growing ethane supply sources in Ohio to the expanding petrochemical market in Sarnia,” said Don Lindley, president of Kinder Morgan’s Natural Gas Liquids, Products Pipelines.

Added Steve Kean, Kinder Morgan president and chief executive officer: “This agreement also demonstrates our ability to originate projects with attractive returns that partners are willing to pay to participate and invest in.”

The pipeline must be approved by several federal and state agencies but it does not require approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as is required for the Nexus and Rover pipelines across northern Ohio. That is because the Utopia Pipeline does not cross state lines and it is not transporting natural gas.

Kinder Morgan has scrapped plans for a second 12-inch pipeline for natural gasoline originally planned along the same Ohio route. The Utopia West Pipeline would have connected with the existing Cochin Pipeline in northwest Ohio to transport that liquid to Kankakee, Ill., and on to Alberta in western Canada to be used by Canadian tar sand producers.