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AltaGas starts up propane export terminal in British Columbia

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AltaGas starts up propane export terminal in British Columbia

AltaGas Ltd. began commercial operations at its marine export facility for propane in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a project that the company said would help grow its midstream business.

The Ridley Island propane export terminal started introducing propane feedstock in mid-April and shipped its first cargo bound for Asia on May 23, according to a May 28 news release. It is owned by a 70/30 joint venture between AltaGas and a Canadian subsidiary of Dutch tank storage service provider Royal Vopak NV, with AltaGas owning 100% of the capacity of the terminal.

The facility is expected to ship about 1.2 million tonnes of propane per year to customers in Asia and is the first marine export facility for propane in Canada. AltaGas also noted the shorter shipping distance from the facility to markets in Asia, with cargoes taking 10 days to travel from Canada's West Coast compared to 25 days from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Japanese propane importer and distributor Astomos Energy Corp. would purchase at least 50% of the propane shipped from the facility every year under a multiyear agreement it signed with AltaGas in 2017.

AltaGas is a Calgary, Alberta-based energy infrastructure company with a focus on regulated utilities, midstream and power.