An aerial shot of the AltaGas propane terminal construction on Ridley Island last June. (Submitted)

In Our Opinion: Propane, making small first steps

LNG was too big for Prince Rupert, but LPG seems to be moving along on the North Coast

With a licence to export up to 19 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year, Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project was a monster.

Aurora LNG wanted to export 24 million tonnes a year, WCC LNG Ltd. proposed to export 15 million tonnes, with the potential to expand to 30 million tonnes a year.

One by one, each of these massive LNG projects folded in the Prince Rupert area. While Kitimat has the only northwest project that is seeing the light of day, the LNG Canada project once constructed and operational will export 14 million tonnes a year, most big projects have proven sluggish in the permitting and environmental approval phase.

Smaller scale natural gas projects however are moving along just fine.

While it took Pacific NorthWest LNG six years to decide it wasn’t going to move forward, it took AltaGas three years from concept to construction and now the liquefied propane gas (LPG) export facility on Ridley Island is fully operational with the first export on May 23. AltaGas will export 1.2 million tonnes of propane a year, mostly to Japan.

READ MORE: AltaGas makes first propane shipment from northern B.C.

An even smaller propane project, Pembina, is working on repairing the dock at Watson Island for its proposed LPG export terminal — if it goes forward it will ship 550,000 tonnes of gas a year.

Taking bite-sized pieces of the industrial landscape on Ridley and Watson islands may be the way of the future.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority didn’t go straight for a 7 million TEU-capacity container terminal. It started with a half a million TEU capacity per year, then it proposed the Phase 2 expansion for up to 2-million TEUs, which it has the federal environmental approvals to do. Beyond that, the port will need to apply for another assessment.

If the Conservative government is elected this fall, Andrew Scheer will work on pushing his coast energy corridor westward, to “lower the costs of environmental assessments, increase certainty for investors, and, most importantly, get these critical projects done,” he said.

With the AltaGas proof-of-concept propane export project on time and within budget, it’s likely we’ll see a few more small-scale projects proposed along B.C.’s coastline.

READ MORE: Create new coast-to-coast energy corridor to get pipelines built: Scheer


The Northern View

Send The Newsroom email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Remembering Rupert: A historical report on Prince Rupert during the Second World War

UPDATED: Only solider to die in Prince Rupert during WWII gets permanent memorial

Heart of Our City | The humble automotive mechanic next door

Frank Repole has been sponsoring Prince Rupert his whole career

Rainmakers rugby makes the trip to Kamloops for Sevens tournament

Competition is the largest of its kind in the country

Old Timers Tournament begins its third decade of action in Prince Rupert

Rupert teams take on visitors from Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Terrace, Hazelton and Smithers

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

WATCH: Lax Kxeen Elementary students learn what it means to remember

Ceremony and cemetery trip help students learn about Rupert’s veterans for Remembrance Day

Terrace RCMP investigating suspicious death of a man in Thornhill

Kamloops resident was found unresponsive early Sunday morning, died hours later

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read