CALGARY – AltaGas Ltd. says it has committed to building what it expects to be the first propane export terminal on Canada’s west coast after receiving approval from federal regulators.
The Calgary-based company (TSX:ALA) said Tuesday it plans to soon start construction on the roughly $475-million Ridley Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C., with the goal of exporting propane by early 2019.
The project is expected to create 200 to 250 construction jobs and about 40 to 50 permanent jobs once operational.
“This export facility is another promising development for our province, connecting producers in northeast B.C. to markets in Asia,” said B.C. Premier Christy Clark in a statement.
AltaGas says it continues to consult with First Nations on whose traditional territory it will build the terminal, which will sit on brownfield land leased from the Prince Rupert Port Authority on Ridley Island.
In announcing its final investment decision, AltaGas said it would also be looking to sell a 30 per cent equity stake in the project.
The terminal is designed to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per year that will come by rail from Western Canada, with the company supplying about half of the product itself and outsourcing the rest.
AltaGas will produce propane and other natural gas liquids from the North Pine facility it committed to build last October, which, along with a set of pipelines, is currently under construction about 40 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John, B.C.
The company has a definitive agreement to sell at least half of the propane exports from the Ridley Terminal to Japan-based Astomos Energy Corp., and is in discussions with several buyers on further capacity commitments.
As with proposed liquefied natural gas exports, propane shipments from B.C. are expected to take much less time to arrive in Asia compared with supplies from the U.S. Gulf Coast.