Trigon to Repurpose Terminal Lands for Canadian LPG Propane Exports (Updated 12/6)

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(Trigon Photograph)

(Trigon Photograph)

Trigon Pacific Terminals Ltd. (Trigon) on Nov. 10 announced plans to redevelop a portion of its existing coal facilities at the CN-served Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia for Canadian LPG (liquified petroleum gas) exports.

The proposed Trigon Pacific LPG Project “will create a more diversified, open-market LPG supply chain and much-needed additional export capacity, without the need to develop any new land or build a berth,” reported Trigon, a multi-commodity bulk and liquefied gas export terminal that is owned by AMCI Group, Riverside Holdings and the Lax Kw’alaams Band and Metlakatla First Nation. “In repurposing existing infrastructure and developed land, Trigon will add upwards of 120,000 cubic meters of new LPG storage capacity and will provide the lowest cost export opportunity for Canadian propane producers, while maintaining steelmaking coal export volumes.”

According to Trigon, the project would use the terminal’s existing rail yard, coupled with new rail unloading facilities, to provide complete unit train unloading. Since the company will gain “full use of the LPG loading arms on its existing berth in January 2024, there would be no need to build any additional marine loading infrastructure,” it noted. This will allow Trigon’s second berth, currently under construction, to be available for other commodities, such as low-carbon hydrogen-as-ammonia.

Trigon said it is in “active dialogue” with Canadian producers and overseas customers who are supportive of a new LPG export hub, and that its Indigenous partners, adjacent communities and union “have also indicated their support” of the project.

Preliminary design work has been completed, according to Trigon.

In a Dec. 5 update, Trigon reported advancing “key engineering work” for the project, including completing pre-FEED engineering, rail design and risk assessment planning. This next stage of work is anticipated to be completed in second-quarter 2024. Operations, subject to regulatory and other approvals, are expected to start by late 2027.

“Our aim with this project is to transition Trigon’s operations to lower carbon products, while providing the best opportunity for Canadian producers to reach market,” Trigon CEO Rob Booker said. “With the upcoming ban on thermal coal exports starting in 2030, taking advantage of the available terminal capacity and infrastructure combined with our experience handling propane, the Trigon LPG Project simply makes sense.”

In related news, the Port of Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) on Oct. 19 reported that it is commencing construction on the C$750 million Ridley Island Export Logistics Project, which will provide expanded capacity and capabilities for rail-to-container transloading of multiple export products.

The investment, PRPA said, “promises to deliver critical trade infrastructure that will improve supply chain resiliency, strategic market access and enhanced competitiveness for Canadian exports.”

The project will also include an expansion of the existing Ridley Island Road Rail Utility Corridor that will facilitate unit trains 10,000 feet in length with direct access to the site from the CN network.

Also, CN on Oct. 23 reported renewing and expanding a five-year transportation agreement with utilities company AltaGas, leveraging the Class I’s exclusive access to the Port of Prince Rupert.

The Port, CN said, “offers strategic advantages for rail customers expanding their business, including reduced port congestion, state-of-the-art export and import terminals, and materially shorter transit times to key markets.”

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