AltaGas will proceed with building its Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, a $500 million facility that would export 1.2 million tonnes of propane a year to Japan and other Asian markets from Ridley Island.
The company announced its positive final investment decision on Jan. 3, saying the project will be the first propane export facility on Canada's west coast.
Construction is expected to begin early this year with an in-service date in 2019. The terminal, near Prince Rupert, will cut shipping distances to Asian markets to 10 days from 25 compared the U.S. Gulf Coast, the company says.
"Propane exports off of Canada's west coast pulls together our vision of offering Canadian producers a complete energy value chain," AltaGas President and CEO David Harris said.
"Together with our northeast B.C. infrastructure, once the Ridley Export Terminal is built and operating, we will give producers new access to premium Asian markets for their propane."
Between 200 and 250 workers will be hired to build the facility, with up to 50 permanent positions once operational.
Astomos Energy Corp., Japan's largest buyer of liquefied propane gas, has signed a memorandum of understanding for 50 per cent of the terminal's 1.2-million tonne output. The remaining 50 per cent is set to be supplied by producers and aggregators in western Canada, the company says, adding it expects to underpin at least 40 percent of the terminal throughput under tolling arrangements with producers and other suppliers.
Consultations continues with First Nations whose traditional territory is located in and around the terminal, Harris said.
"Collaborating closely with First Nations and communities to create sustainable social value is of paramount importance to us and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the First Nations in the region," Harris said.
AltaGas currently operates a propane export facility in Ferndale, WA.