LPG in World Markets
Waterborne propane exports from Canada have been steady at around 40,000 b/d (two VLGCs per month) since AltaGas loaded the first VLGC from the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal in British Columbia in late-May 2019. All the shipments went to Asia with Japan taking more than half of the volume. LPG exports are expected to grow further in 2020 once Pembina commences operations at the 25,000 b/d (735,000 t/y) Prince Rupert terminal in mid-2020; however, exports from the new terminal are expected to be limited to Latin America.
With the stagnant LPG consumption in the retail sector and falling land-exports to the US, Canadian midstream companies have turned their focus on building infrastructure for waterborne exports and PDH plants in recent years. However, recent government policy changes could slow the growth in investments into the petrochemical sector.