by Shannon Lough – The Northern View
After receiving approval from federal regulators, AltaGas announced its Final Investment Decision for the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.
Construction will begin early this year to build the $500-million propane terminal designed to ship 1.2-million tonnes of propane to Asian markets each year. The propane export terminal on Ridley Island, near Prince Rupert, will be the first on Canada’s West Coast.
According to AltaGas’s website explaining the project, propane from British Columbia and Alberta natural gas producers will be transported to the facility using the existing CN rail network. It is estimated that the proposed facility will offload approximately 50 to 60 rail cars per day and deliver by marine transport approximately 20 to 30 cargos of propane per year to market.
The North Coast location gives the proponent a geographical advantage — shipments to Asia will take 10-days as opposed to the 25-days it takes to ship from the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“Propane exports off of Canada’s West Coast pulls together our vision of offering Canadian producers a complete energy value chain,” said David Harris, President and CEO of AltaGas in the press release. “Together with our northeast B.C. infrastructure, once the Ridley Export Terminal is built and operating, we will give producers new access to premium Asian markets for their propane.”
In December, AltaGas also received regulatory approval to double the size of its natural gas processing Townsend Facility, north of Fort St. John. The Townsend Facility will feed into the North Pine propane facility, near Fort St. John, which will now feed into the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.
A final multi-year agreement has also been signed between AltaGas and the Japan-based Astomos Energy Corporation to purchase 50 per cent of the 1.2-million tonnes of propane being exported from Ridley. The two companies had originally signed a memorandum of understanding on May 24, 2016.
“Astomos is one of the largest LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) players in the world providing great access to Asian markets for Western Canadian producers,” said Harris. “We look forward to maximizing our relationship with them.”
Environmental review began in early 2016 and by the end of the year, after all documentation was submitted, federal approval came from Transport Canada, the Port of Prince Rupert and Ridley Terminals Inc.
Harris said the company has been collaborating closely with First Nations and communities in the area. “We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the First Nations in the region.”
The project is estimated to bring 200-250 construction jobs while its being built and there will be 40-50 permanent jobs once the terminal is in operation.
– With files from Chris Gareau.