Port of Prince Rupert Gets $1.3 Billion Propane Export Terminal

AltaGas' first propane terminal at Prince Rupert, the RIPET facility. REEF will be adjacent (Altagas file image)
AltaGas' first propane terminal at Prince Rupert, the RIPET facility. REEF will be adjacent (Altagas file image)

Published Jun 2, 2024 9:57 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia intends to cement its dominance as a gas exporting hub for Asian markets with a $1.3 billion export facility, thanks to U.S. company AltaGas and its Dutch partner Royal Vopak.

The two firms have announced that after a five-year environmental review process, they have reached a final investment decision on the Ridley Island Energy Export Facility (REEF), which will be built on Ridley Island near Prince Rupert in B.C., Canada.

REEF will be a large-scale liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and bulk liquids terminal combining rail, logistics and marine infrastructures. The partners will split ownership and expenses equally, half and half. When completed in 2026, the project is expected to facilitate the export of LPG, methanol and other bulk liquids to Asia, building Canada’s role as a growing global energy exporter.

The JV partners expect that with only 10 shipping days to the fastest growing markets in Northeast Asia, REEF has a structural advantage in delivering LPG to consumers with the shortest shipping time globally. Prince Rupert port has already been recording an increase in LPG export volumes, which in 2022 posted a 22 percent rise.

REEF will be the second investment by the two companies in Prince Rupert, where they have been operating the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET) since 2019. For REEF, the two partners have secured long term leases for the 190-acre site. The facility will be adjacent to RIPET.

As their second major investment - which also ranks as Port of Prince Rupert largest investment ever - the JV partners said that REEF will be developed in phases, after necessary approvals and FEED work is done. Site clearing work is more than 95 percent complete.  

With initial construction expected to commence this year, phase 1 of the project will include approximately 55,000 barrels a day of initial LPG export capacity, including propane and butane, 600,000 barrels of LPG storage, a new multi-product jetty, and extensive rail and logistics infrastructure.

In subsequent phases, whose cost estimates are yet to be determined, the JV partners will explore the option to progress evaluation work on fuels of the future, such as hydrogen, which has growing customer interest in Asia - particularly in countries like Japan and South Korea.

“This positive FID enables AltaGas to continue connecting Canadian energy to Asian markets and drive valuable outcomes for all our customers,” said Vern Yu, AltaGas President and CEO.

He added that with REEF, the company will be driving more long-term value for its customers in Asia, where it commands a strong presence. AltaGas delivers more than 19 percent of Japan’s propane and 13 percent of South Korea’s LPG imports.