Tuesday, May 28, 2019

AltaGas celebrates Grand Opening of RIPET facility

The first shipment of LPG for Asia
left the RIPET facility  on May 23
aboard the vessel Sumire Gas
With the firs shipment having departed Prince Rupert last week, Canada's First Marine Export facility for Propane will get it's official grand opening today, celebrating a new course for Canadian energy providers  and the latest industrial employer for the North Coast.

In a statement to mark the move to operations for the facility AltaGas President and CEO Randy Crawford noted how the opening positions the Alberta based company to deliver resources to the world.

"The completion of this game-changing project and the shipment of our first cargo are historic milestones for AltaGas, as well as for our project partners, customers, local Indigenous Peoples, surrounding communities, and western Canada's upstream energy sector. With RIPET now operational, we can offer producers a uniquely complete solution for their propane, providing premium netbacks and market optionality, while also positioning AltaGas to profitably grow our Midstream footprint – a true win-win for AltaGas and our customers."

The Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal began receiving propane by rail in April and as we noted last week on the blog, the first vessel Sumire Gas departed Prince Rupert harbour on May 23rd for the debut shipment of propane to Asia.

Last weeks shipment marked the first of what will be approximately 1.2 million tonnes of propane to be shipped annually to customers in Asia, with at least fifty percent of the Ridley shipments destined for Astomos Energy Corporation of Japan.

In a statement celebrating today's Grand Opening for RIPET, the close working arrangement with the local community and Indigenous governments of the region was hailed as an important focus for AltaGas.  With officials noting how it provided more than 200 jobs during the construction phase and now will provide up to 40 permanent jobs for the local economy as it comes online.

Respect for First Nations was a common theme from both Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla leadership who praised the engagement and employment opportunities that the new facility offers their members.

"Good partnerships can only form when both parties get to know each other. AltaGas is a good community partner. They included us from the beginning, respected us, trusted us, and worked with us to understand what our community needs. Together, we developed a training program so our people could get good jobs and enjoy the benefits they provide." -- Mayor John Helin, Lax Kw'alaams

"AltaGas approached the development of their Ridley Island project respectfully, by engaging us early and providing regular updates. They worked with us to accommodate our interests and to find mutually beneficial solutions for their project and our community." -- Chief Councillor Harold Leighton, Metlakatla First Nation

AltaGas also makes note of the relationships it has formed with local emergency responders in both Port Edward and Prince Rupert. The company recently hosted training and financial support towards providing for safety measures for the communities that are adjacent to the Ridley facility.

Stationed at the Port of Prince Rupert's Anchorage number 6  is the vessel Maple Gas, the newly constructed LPG carrier which as we recounted last week was christened by a number of First Nations representatives from the North Coast, who joined company and Japanese government officials in ceremonies that officially launched the new ship.

Shipment number two for the new facility is expected to take place on June 3rd, when the Maple Gas will make its return trip to Asia with Canadian gas aboard.

The AltaGas statement can be reviewed in full here.

More background on the path from concept to Grand Opening of the Ridley facility can be found from our archive page.

An artists concept for the proposed Vopak Bulk liquid storage facility
for Ridley Island, it's currently working its way through the regulatory process

Partnering with AltaGas on the RIPET facility was Royal Vopak the Holland based marine terminal operator which has a thirty percent share in the RIPET terminal. Vopak is also in the process of investigating opportunities to operate its own marine terminal on Ridley Island, you can review those notes here.

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