Pacific Northern Gas pitches new pipeline to Kitimat

AltaGas subsidiary asks for expressions of interest from natural gas producers to take capacity on new 525-km pipeline loop

Pacific Northern Gas already serves the Kitimat region with a natural gas pipeline that it now hopes to expand. | Pacific Northern Gas screengrab

Pacific Northern Gas is planning an expansion of an existing natural gas pipeline that runs from Summit Lake, north of Prince George to Kitimat, if it can get producers in northeastern B.C. to sign up for capacity on the new line.

Pacific Northern Gas, a subsidiary of AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA), already owns a natural gas pipeline that runs from Summit Lake to Kitimat, serving residential, business and industrial customers along the route.

On October 10 the company issued a call for expressions of interest from natural gas producers in region to take additional capacity on a new 525-kilometre line it proposes to build.

Brock John, a company spokesman, said there is an existing compressor system in Kitimat and Prince Rupert that was "mothballed" and which could be reactivated, if the company gets enough interest from producers. The company would consider twinning parts of the existing line in a looping project called the Pipeline Looping Project (PLP).

“With the addition of the PLP, PNG will expand on its unique position in offering natural gas transportation service to multiple industrial projects along British Columbia’s west coast, serving international markets and facilitating economic growth in the region,” the company said in an online posting.

The company will be accepting expressions of interest up until October 26.

The LNG Canada project in Kitimat will be sourcing its natural gas from the new Coastal GasLink pipeline, which TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) plans to build at a cost $6.2 billion.

But there may be other natural gas-based industrial projects that could be developed in Kitimat and Prince Rupert that may need an additional source of natural gas, John said.

"There's a number of different projects that are possible at this point, and that's really what the expression of interest is trying to explore – who they are, what kind of volumes they are and the time frames of when they would require it."

AltaGas – Pacific Northern Gas’s parent company – is building a new propane export terminal in Prince Rupert. Royal Vopak N.V., a Dutch company, is also considering Ridley Island in Prince Rupert for a new bulk terminal for natural gas liquids, diesel, methanol and other liquids.

nbennett@biv.com

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