Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET), the first marine export facility for propane in Canada, has been officially opened, energy infrastructure company AltaGas informed.
Located in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the facility began introducing propane feedstock in mid-April.
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,” Randy Crawford, AltaGas’ President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, adding that the company can offer producers a complete solution for their propane with RIPET now being operational.
As explained, 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.
According to the company, the ability to provide access to overseas markets, where demand for cleaner fuels is growing, is anticipated to be a significant catalyst for further growth within AltaGas’ Midstream business.
“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,” Crawford further said.
In 2017, AltaGas entered a multi-year agreement with Astomos Energy Corporation, a Japanese propane importer and distributor, to purchase at least 50 percent of the propane shipped from RIPET annually.
“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,” Seiya Araki, President of Astomos Energy Corporation, said.
In total, RIPET is expected to ship approximately 1.2 million tons of propane annually to customers in Asia.
RIPET is owned by a joint venture between AltaGas (70 pct) and a Canadian subsidiary of Royal Vopak (30 pct). Pursuant to the arrangement, AltaGas has the right to 100 percent of the capacity of RIPET.