Tuesday, April 27, 2021

More options ahead for transit of Pembina LPG product to global markets

The Pembina LPG facility in Prince Rupert
(from the Pembina website)

With a few shipments already under their belt, the Pembina LPG terminal at Watson Island will soon see a wider range of vessel calls arriving; with a global roster of shipment groups  making plans for a port call as early as this May.

In an information release on Monday, Navigator Holdings, the owner of the world's largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers outlined how the arrangement with the Japanese industrial giant  Mistui will work.

"Navigator Holdings Ltd. ("Navigator") (NYSE: NVGS), today announced it has agreed four 12 month timecharter contracts with Mitsui & Co. Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd. .("Mitsui") to be used for Pembina Pipeline Corporation's ("Pembina") new LPG export facility at Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada. 

The four semi-refrigerated handysize vessels are expected to commence their charters to Mitsui from the second half of May 2021. Navigator's semi-refrigerated vessels are capable of loading ambient propane from the rail-supplied export terminal, negating the need for capital intensive on-shore chillers. 

The vessels will provide an essential part of the Canadian LPG value chain from production to final customer. Navigator will connect the last leg of this value chain by delivering safe, reliable and efficient seaborne transportation services connecting the export terminal to customers across the Pacific Ocean. 

The vessels, together with Pembina's new export terminal in Prince Rupert, and Mitsui's trading network in the global LPG market, will enable Canadian produced LPG to be exported outside the traditional North American markets.

Another element of the Navigator release from yesterday, provided a look at how the Pembina set up and its use of rail car transportation has captured the interest of the global shipping community.

"What is even more interesting is that the entire logistics, from the processing plants in Alberta, the unit rails to the terminal in British Columbia, and the maritime section from the export terminal to international customers, can be price competitive compared to Very Large Gas Carriers' main route between U.S. Gulf and Asia."

Navigator Gas vessels will soon be calling on Prince Rupert
as they arrive and depart from the Pembina terminal

For Mitsui, the opportunity to become part of a new trade route made for their enthusiasm for the agreement.

"We are proud to be part of an entirely new trade between North America and international customers. Together with our partners Pembina, Navigator and Fearnleys Shipbrokers, we have overcome logistical challenges and have found a means to create a 'pipeline' from production in Alberta all the way to our end users. This would not be possible without the expertise, competence and ingenuity of our partners."

The Pembina Terminal received its first vessel call earlier this month, officially putting the Terminal into operational status.

A wider overview of the Pembina Terminal can be found here.

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