AltaGas invited stakeholders, leaders and members of the community to Ridley Island on Oct. 22 to give a tour of its Propane Export Terminal and give an update on the progress of the facility’s constructions.
The group — which included dignitaries such as B.C. Premier John Horgan, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain and AltaGas president and CEO David Harris — met at the construction site for a tour of what will be the storage tank for propane before the product is shipped out of western Canada to markets in Asia.
The $500-million terminal will have the capability of shipping up to 1.2 million tonnes of propane annually once its construction is complete in early 2019. Rice said she was happy that all of the partners who made the project possible were there to see its progress.
“That’s what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s the partnership between these people and seeing a project that’s coming along and it’s going to create jobs and I think that’s what people want to hear and what they want to see.”
AltaGas vice-president of energy exports Dan Woznow said the tour went well, and that the project, while relatively small, was a big step forward for Prince Rupert, B.C., and Canada overall.
“Overseas, everyone is watching to see if we can actually get something done,” Woznow said. “So the reality in seeing the tank come up here in Ridley Island is key, it shows we can get stuff done.”
The premier said the progress and success of the project — which is estimated to bring between 200-250 construction jobs as well as 40-50 permanent jobs upon completion — will be a tremendous benefit to people in the region.
“To have economic activity here on the North Coast, it’s good for the people of Prince Rupert, good for the people of the northwest,” he said.
“But it’s also good for British Columbia because it sends a signal to the investment community that we’re open for business.”
The signal that Canada is open for business was a common theme in the comments and speeches made throughout the event.
In addition to his comments about the potential of propane exports, Horgan said success in this project could mean positive things for future liquefied natural gas development, which has recently stalled in Prince Rupert following the cancellation of two major projects.
“I’m confident that as markets turn around, and as investors see the success of AltaGas in getting this propane facility up and running, the liquids that we get in our natural gas fields … are what we’re going to be moving to the rest of the world,” he said.
AltaGas announced that it would be building a terminal on Ridley Island in Jan. 2017 after receiving approval from federal regulators.