Tank storage provider Royal Vopak and Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas have entered into a joint venture to invest in the development of the first propane export terminal off the west coast of Canada.
The Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET) is to be designed to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per annum, with around 96,000 cubic meters of storage capacity. The facility is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019.
Vopak, which will take a 30 percent interest in RIPET, said that its investment “is underpinned by long-term customer contracts and is fully aligned with Vopak’s long-term strategy where storage and handling of gas has been earmarked as one of the strategic focus areas.”
The company added that Canada has a structural surplus in gas and natural gas liquids for which Asia is an important market to export these energy products.
The RIPET site is near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on a section of land leased by Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Vopak said that the site has a locational advantage given very short shipping distances to markets in Asia, notably a 10-day shipping time compared to 25-days from the US Gulf Coast.
“Propane from British Columbia and Alberta will be transported to the facility using 50-60 rail cars a day through the existing CN rail network. The extensive land and water rights held by RTI and its world class marine jetty enables the efficient loading of very large gas carriers that can access key global markets without limitation,” Vopak said.