AltaGas approved to double propane exports

First West Coast propane terminal demonstrates strong case for LPG exports

New propane terminal in Prince Rupert opened door to Asia for LPG exports from B.C.'s liquids rich Montney gas fields. |AltaGas


Just a little over a year after AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA) commissioned its new propane export terminal in Prince Rupert, the company now plans to increase exports.

The new propane export terminal at Ridley Island went into operation in the summer of 2019. It sources propane from the liquids-rich natural gas fields of the Montney formation in northeast B.C.

The company has a 25-year licence to export 40,000 barrels per day to Asia. As of the end of the first half of 2020, it was averaging 41,000 bpd.

"Performance at RIPET remains strong,” AltaGas CEO Randy Crawford said in a recent second quarter financial statement.

“We continue to deliver on our goals, setting a record in the second quarter with 41,460 (bpd) of Canadian propane exported to Asia on seven ships. We are pleased with the progress we continue to make at RIPET and we remain on track to hit 50,000 (bpd) before year-end.

This week, the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) approved AltaGas’ application for a second 25-year, 40,000-bpd export licence.

The Prince Rupert terminal gives Canadian propane exports a distinct advantage over other propane exporters due to its proximity to Asian markets. China is the world’s largest market for propane.

AltaGas’ export terminal in Prince Rupert was the first to be built, but others are planned for B.C.’s west coast.

Pembina Pipeline (TSX:PPL) is also building a 25,000 bpd export terminal in Prince Rupert with exports expected to start this year. It has already announced plans to expand the terminal’s export capacity to 40,000 bpd.

Pacific Traverse Energy is working with the Haisla First Nation to build a new liquid petroleum gas (LPG) export terminal in Kitimat.