Patrick Ward

AltaGas moves forward with North Pine propane facility

AltaGas green lights its propane facility near Fort St. John, which would feed the proposed propane export terminal on Ridley Island.

AltaGas gave the green light to its propane facility near Fort St. John, which would feed the proposed propane export terminal on Ridley Island.

After the company released its strong quarterly results on Thursday, a final investment decision was announced for the North Pine Facility. President and CEO of AltaGas David Harris said the great success over the quarter advanced their northeast B.C. strategy.

“North Pine is a key component of our energy value chain and brings forward a significant new and competitive option for producers in the Montney. Together with our proposed Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, we can offer producers superb service to existing and new markets. As we move into the last couple months of the year we expect to hit our financial targets and bring our Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal investment decision to fruition,” he said.

In September, another piece of the puzzle came together in the northeastern B.C. strategy when the Townsend Facility began its commercial operations for processing natural gas liquids. The $430 million project is located 100km north of Fort St. John and was finished ahead of schedule and cost less than expected. The Townsend Facility will feed into North Pine pipelines.

On Oct. 18 the company received a 25-year licence from the National Energy Board to export up to 1.35 million tonnes of propane a year from the Ridley Island. The proposed Ridley Island export terminal is estimated to cost $400 to $500 million and will ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per year.

The third quarter saw earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at $176 million, which is a 41 per cent increase over the 2015 third quarter. In the results, AltaGas states it has successfully completed the public comment period for the environmental evaluation document for the proposed Ridley Island Propane export terminal.

The board of directors approved of the North Pine Facility on Oct. 19, which is 40 km northwest of Fort St. John and will be able to access the CN rail network to transport the gas to the proposed Ridley Island export terminal. A final investment decision for the $125 to $135 million project near Fort St. John is just one more piece in the puzzle to link the company with its North Coast prospects.