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

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

In Our Opinion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read