12/22/2016 05:03 EST | Updated 12/23/2017 00:12 EST

AltaGas Townsend gas processing expansion gets B.C. regulatory approval

CALGARY — The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission has given its approval for AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA) to expand and retrofit its Townsend natural gas processing facility in the province's northeast.

The Calgary-based company says it will initially cost between $85 million and $95 million to build a second gas processing plant beside one that's operating at the site.

There's also a provision to retrofit the existing Townsend processing facility.

In addition, AltaGas estimates it will cost an additional $35 million to $45 million to add compression equipment required to move raw gas from the Blair Creek area to Townsend.

AltaGas expects to fully contract Townsend Phase 2 to process gas from Painted Pony Petroleum (TSX:PPY) under a 20-year agreement.

Painted Pony said last month that it expects its daily production in 2017 to be 288 million cu. ft. per day, up 110 per cent from 138 million cu. ft. per day projected for 2016.