An energy export transition is underway at Trigon Pacific Terminals, as the Prince Rupert-based company says it is planning to modify its coal terminals to make way for butane and propane exports.
The company said it will continue to export steelmaking coal, though thermal exports will be banned altogether by 2030 — giving the company seven years to transition towards cleaner energy.
Lax Kw’alaams band, Metlakatla First Nation, Riverstone Holdings LLC and ACMI group make up Trigon’s ownership, the terminal was privatized in 2019 after being federally owned for decades.
With its existing terminal facilities, the company said the transition will be seemless, with an added capacity of approximately 230,000 cubic metres for liquid petroleum gas (LPG). It also said it will provide the cheapest export option for Canadian propane producers trying to reach global markets.
“With the upcoming ban on thermal coal exports starting in 2030, taking advantage of the available terminal capacity and infrastructure combined with our experience handling propane, the Trigon LPG project simply makes sense,” said Trigon CEO Rob Booker. “By reusing existing infrastructure to build a project with the smallest environmental footprint possible of any new proposed LPG export facility in Canada, Trigon is able to offer a competitive choice, while also setting a high bar for future projects.”
Existing rail yard and unloading sites at the terminal will be used, along with its current marine berth. Another berth will be opening by 2027, which it says will provide options for other lower-carbon exports such as hydrogen-as-ammonia.
Preliminary design plans have already been complete, while the reshaped terminal should be able to commence LPG operations by 2027, according to a release from the company. It did not say how much the proposed revamps would cost.
According to Booker, the expanded plans will include labour local to Prince Rupert.
“We are committed to maintaining Trigon’s long-term viability and the skilled, local union jobs that come with that,” he said.