​B.C.’s first propane export terminal starts filling for operations

This LPG tank, seen under construction in 2017, is now being filled to set up the Ridley Island Export Terminal for propane exports. Image: Province of B.C.

AltaGas says it has begun introducing feedstock to start operations at the new Ridley Island Export Terminal, Canada’s first propane export facility.

RIPET, as it is known, has an estimated capital cost of $450 million to $500 million. AltaGas said that it was completed on-time and on-budget during Q1.

CEO Randy Crawford said that completing the project is a historic milestone for AltaGas and its partners, as well as western Canadian natural gas producers and customers in Asia.

“RIPET has come online at a crucial time for the Canadian energy industry, providing domestic natural gas producers with much-needed access to tidewater and more attractive global pricing," he said.

AltaGas started building its Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal in January 2017.

The terminal has a locational advantage, AltaGas says, given very short shipping distances to markets in Asia, notably a 10-day shipping time compared to 25 days from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Propane from British Columbia and Alberta will be transported to the facility using 50-60 rail cars per day through the existing CN rail network. The terminal is expected to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per annum (which is equivalent to approximately 40,000 bbls/d of export capacity).

Propane shipments are expected to commence in Q2.