Grand opening for Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal
AltaGas is today celebrating the grand opening of its Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET), in Prince Rupert, B.C. – the first marine export facility for propane in Canada.
The facility began introducing propane feedstock in mid-April, and the first shipment departed the terminal on May 23, 2019 bound for Asia.
“The completion of this game-changing project and the shipment of our first cargo are historic milestones for AltaGas, as well as for our project partners, customers, local Indigenous Peoples, surrounding communities, and western Canada’s upstream energy sector,” said Randy Crawford, AltaGas’ president and CEO. “With RIPET now operational, we can offer producers a uniquely complete solution for their propane, providing premium netbacks and market optionality, while also positioning AltaGas to profitably grow our Midstream footprint – a true win-win for AltaGas and our customers.”
RIPET allows AltaGas to leverage the strength of its assets along the energy value chain in western Canada – from gas gathering and processing, to liquids handling, fractionation and export – by attracting increasing volumes and enhancing throughput. The ability to provide access to premium overseas markets, where demand for cleaner fuels is growing, is anticipated to be a significant catalyst for further growth within AltaGas’ Midstream business.
“RIPET signals to our customers overseas that Canada can deliver on energy exports, and the facility will make significant long-term contributions to international trade, support economic growth in northern B.C., and provide immediate access to clean-burning fuel in Asian markets, where demand is particularly strong,” said Crawford. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a collaborative and experienced joint-venture partner in Royal Vopak and an extraordinary customer in Astomos.”
In 2017, AltaGas entered a multi-year agreement with Astomos Energy Corporation, a Japanese propane importer and distributor, to purchase at least 50 per cent of the propane shipped from RIPET annually. RIPET provides producers and customers with a significant locational advantage given comparatively short shipping distances to markets in Asia – notably a 10-day shipping time from Canada’s West Coast compared to 25 days from the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“The ability to import Canadian propane is a significant advantage for Japan, as it provides greater energy security and supply diversification, while also enabling Canada to maximize the value of its natural resources,” said Seiya Araki, president of Astomos Energy Corporation. “This first-of-its-kind project demonstrates to the world what can be achieved through effective partnerships between Canadian and Japanese companies, and will ultimately benefit both countries for decades to come.”
In total, RIPET is expected to ship approximately 1.2 million tonnes of propane annually to customers in Asia. Asia is the world’s largest importer of LPG, with as many as 24 million households using propane for heating and cooking in Japan alone. Propane is also an important feedstock for the petrochemical industry, and fuels nearly 25 million vehicles worldwide.