01/03/2017 13:35 EST | Updated 01/04/2018 00:12 EST

AltaGas formally commits to building B.C.'s first propane export terminal

CALGARY — AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA) says it has committed to building what it expects to be the first propane export terminal on Canada's west coast after receiving approval from federal regulators.

The Calgary-based company says it plans to soon start construction on the roughly $475-million Ridley Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C., with the goal of exporting propane by early 2019.

The project is expected to create 200 to 250 construction jobs and about 40 to 50 permanent jobs once operational.

AltaGas says it continues to consult with First Nations on whose traditional territory it will build the terminal, which will sit on brownfield land leased from the Prince Rupert Port Authority on Ridley Island.

The terminal is designed to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per year, with the company supplying about half of the product itself and outsourcing the rest.

AltaGas has a definitive agreement to sell at least half of the propane exports from the Ridley Terminal to Japan-based Astomos Energy Corp., and is in discussions with several buyers on further capacity commitments.