Vopak, AltaGas partner on Western Canadian propane export terminal

Koninklijke Vopak NV and AltaGas Ltd. have formed a joint venture to invest in development of the proposed Ridley Island propane export terminal (RIPET), near Prince Rupert, BC.

Koninklijke Vopak NV and AltaGas Ltd. have formed a joint venture to invest in development of the proposed Ridley Island propane export terminal (RIPET), near Prince Rupert, BC (OGJ Online, Oct. 24, 2016).

To be the first propane export terminal off Western Canada. the project will have a design capacity to ship 1.2 million tonnes/year of propane plus NGL mix (C3+), as well as a storage capacity of about 96,000 cu m, the companies said.

Vopak, whose investment is underpinned by long-term customer contracts and is fully aligned with its long-term strategic focus on gas storage and handling, will take a 30% ownership interest in RIPET, while AltaGas will hold the remaining 70% interest.

With regulatory and permitting processes for the project already under way, the proposed $450-500-million (Can.) RIPET will be built on a brownfield site subleased from Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) that features existing rail lines and RTI’s existing marine jetty, which offers deepwater access to the Pacific Ocean.

As currently planned, the export terminal will receive about 50-60 railcars of C3+ from across British Columbia and Alberta via the existing CN rail network and be equipped to export between 20-30 cargoes/year of C3+ to destinations abroad, offering Western Canadian propane producers new markets, particularly in Asia Pacific.

The terminal’s location will allow a 10-day shipping time to Asian-Pacific markets vs. a 25-day travel time from destinations at the US Gulf Coast, the companies said.

AltaGas, which previously completed front-end engineering and design on the project, already has received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board for a 25-year license to export up to 1.35 million tpy of C3+.

With project construction scheduled to begin this year, the companies said they expect RIPET to be commissioned in first-quarter 2019.

As part of the new JV, AltaGas and Vopak also plan to explore other opportunities separate from RIPET to expand their relationship on Ridley Island, where both companies hold additional land rights.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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