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Vopak forms joint venture with AltaGas  

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Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

Vopak and AltaGas have announced they are forming a joint venture to evaluate the development of the Ridley Island Energy Export Facility (REEF) in Canada.REEF is a large-scale liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and bulk liquids terminal with marine infrastructure on Ridley Island, British Columbia, Canada. 

As part of the previously submitted regulatory filings (under the name of Vopak Pacific Canada), REEF will be able to facilitate the export of LPG, methanol, and other vital bulk liquids. REEF has been granted key federal and provincial permits to construct storage tanks, a new dedicated jetty, and rail and other ancillary infrastructure required to operate a state-of-the-art and highly efficient facility.  

REEF would be developed on a 190-acre (77 hectare) site on lands administered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority, for which the joint venture has executed a long-term lease. This sits adjacent to AltaGas and Vopak’s existing Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET), which has been in operation since April 2019. 

Should the JV reach a positive final investment decision (FID), REEF is expected to be developed and brought online in phases. This approach will provide cost efficiency, match energy export supply with throughput capacity, mitigate the challenges that large development projects can have on local communities, and provide long-term local construction and employment opportunities.  

AltaGas has executed a long-term commercial agreement with the joint venture for 100% of the capacity for the first phase of LPG volumes, subject to a positive FID. AltaGas will also be responsible for the construction and operational stewardship of the facility. 

REEF is currently working through front-end engineering design (FEED) activities, where deliverables will include a refined capital cost estimate, a project execution plan, a construction schedule, and a projected in-service date, among numerous other items. FEED and other development activities are expected to be completed by late 2023, followed by an FID by the joint venture. 

Dick Richelle, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Royal Vopak, says: ‘Our goal is to create together with partners high-quality critical infrastructure for vital products. The strategic location of Prince Rupert, with the shortest shipping distances between North America and Asia, has the potential to increase the trade between Canada and the Asia Pacific region. REEF fits very well within Vopak’s strategic pillar to grow in gas and industrial infrastructure. We look forward to further collaboration with First Nations rights holders and key stakeholders to make this project a reality.’ 

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