Market Snapshot: New propane export terminal in British Columbia allows Canadian propane direct access to Asian markets

Release date: 2019-07-17

Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal came into service in May 2019. The inaugural propane shipment to leave the new terminal to Asian markets left on 23 May 2019. The 40 000 barrel per day (b/d) terminal is owned by Altagas and Royal Vopak, and opens a door for direct exports of Canadian propane to Asia and Latin America.

Ridley Island is the first of four propane export terminals proposed for Canada’s West Coast. Pembina is currently building its 25 000 b/d Prince Rupert Export Terminal on Watson Island, which is expected to start exporting propane mid-2020. The other two terminals, a second 40 000 b/d terminal on Ridley Island proposed by Vopak Pacific Canada, and Pacific Traverse’s 46 000 b/d terminal at Kitimat, B.C., may come online in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Both projects are awaiting regulatory approvals and final investment decisions.

Canada has been exporting propane to Asia for five years through the United States. Petrogas owns a 35 000 b/d propane/butane marine export terminal in Ferndale, Washington which receives propane exported from Canada by rail for re-export to Asian and Latin American markets.

Figure 1: British Columbia’s Proposed Propane Marine Export Terminals

Figure 1: British Columbia’s Proposed Propane Marine Export Terminals
Source and Description

Source: Pembina, Vopak Pacific, AltaGas, Pacific Traverse, Petrogas

Description: This map shows the coastline from British Columbia to northern Washington, United States. The locations of the following propane export terminals are marked:

  • In Service: Petrogas’ Ferndale terminal in northern Washington and the new AltaGas RIPET near Port Edward, British Columbia.
  • Under construction: Pembina’s Watson Island near Port Edward.
  • Proposed: Vopak Pacific’s Ridley Island (near Port Edward) and Pacific Traverse’s Kitimat terminals.

Three of these terminals are marked on the insert map showing the Port Edward and Prince Rupert area.

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