PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. — Job creation and product shipment diversification are being touted by Ridley Terminals as major benefits from a proposed propane export facility, which has moved another step closer to reality this week.
AltaGas Limited would develop, build, own and operate the proposed Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal near Prince Rupert which would annually ship up to one point two million tonnes of propane.
The Calgary based company has announced that a sublease and related agreements have been signed with Ridley Terminals Incorporated and they represent the first important step in the regulatory and engagement phases of the project.
AltaGas Chairman and CEO David Cornhill says, “We anticipate this facility will be the first to export propane from the B.C. west coast, opening up new international markets for natural gas producers in Western Canada.”
Meantime, both the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Ridley Terminals are behind the development suggesting it aligns with their development plans, while sustaining and creating new jobs in the area.
In this case, propane from B.C. and Alberta producers will be transported by CN Rail to the terminal which has an estimated price tag of between $400 million and $500 million.
AltaGas already owns or has an interest in six large natural gas processing facilities in B.C. and Alberta, which produce propane, and it operates a similar export facility in Ferndale, Washington — about half way between the border crossing at Blaine and Bellingham.
The company is working towards reaching a final investment decision on the Ridley Island Terminal later this year and is already engaged in consultations with environmental and regulatory authorities, local area communities, and First Nations.
If all goes as planned propane exports would begin in 2018, but it’s worth noting the price of propane at the beginning of this week was 33 cents U.S. per gallon, 12 cents, or 26 per cent, less than it was three months ago.