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AltaGas and Vopak reach positive final investment decision on Ridley Island Energy Export Facility

Press Release

CALGARY, AB, PRINCE RUPERT, BC, and ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ – 6:30pm Mountain Standard Time / 30 May 2023 – 3:30 Central European Time.  All figures contained in the press release are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated.

AltaGas Ltd. (“AltaGas”) (TSX: ALA) and Royal Vopak (“Vopak”) (XAMS: VPK) (together the “Joint Venture”, “Partners” or “Partnership”) are pleased to announce a positive final investment decision (FID) on the Ridley Island Energy Export Facility (REEF), a large-scale liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and bulk liquids terminal with rail, logistics and marine infrastructure on Ridley Island, British Columbia, Canada. Following a five-year environmental preparation and review process, extensive engagement with multiple stakeholders including Indigenous rights holders and local communities, the Joint Venture is set to deliver a world class export facility that will operate with industry-leading environmental stewardship.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Joint Venture has completed all major gating items, including front-end engineering design (FEED) and a detailed Class III capital estimate.
  • Site clearing work is more than 95 percent complete and with required permits in hand, the project is expected to come online near 2026 year-end.
  • Projected gross Joint Venture capital cost of $1.35 billion, excluding governmental incentives and support, with annual Partnership EBITDA of $185 million$215 million are in-line with the Partners’ expectations.
  • Onsite work will be minimized to reduce capital cost risk and community impacts, with 90 percent of equipment, packaging and pipes expected to be prefabricated offsite in controlled operating environments.
  • The Joint Venture expects to lock-in more than 60 percent of the Phase 1 capital costs through fixed-price, lump-sum engineering, procurement and fabrication contracts prior to construction.
  • Vopak and AltaGas expect to fund their 50 percent pro-rata ownership through each company’s respective financial capacity with no leverage at the Partnership level.
  • REEF will enhance Canada’s role as a growing global energy exporter, strengthen Canadian and Asia Pacific energy connectivity and provide Canadian producers and aggregators with access to the premium global markets for LPGs.
  • With only ten shipping days to the fastest growing demand markets in Northeast Asia, REEF has a structural advantage in delivering LPGs to Asia with the shortest shipping time globally.
  • The project has First Nations support agreements in place and will drive further economic benefits to local communities in Northwestern B.C. through construction activities, long-term job creation and community investment focused on delivering positive outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • REEF will be constructed and operate under AltaGas and Vopak’s existing exclusive rights granted by the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) to develop LPG, methanol and other bulk liquids exports on Ridley Island.

“This positive FID enables AltaGas to continue connecting Canadian energy to Asian markets and drive valuable outcomes for all our customers,” said Vern Yu, President and CEO of AltaGas. “Canada has a structural advantage in delivering LPGs to Asia with the shortest shipping time and lowest maritime emissions footprint. AltaGas delivers more than 19 percent of Japan’s propane and 13 percent of South Korea’s LPG imports, connecting our upstream customers with customers in Asia. We look forward to working with our partners to drive more long-term value creation with REEF.”

“We are excited to be able to execute on our growth strategy and invest in export infrastructure on this highly strategic location” said Dick Richelle, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Royal Vopak. “Prince Rupert, with the shortest shipping distances between North America and Asia, gives the opportunity to drive progress by increasing the trade between Canada and the Asia Pacific region. We are proud to contribute to this development and are thankful for the good collaboration with our partner AltaGas and other key stakeholders. The trust and support of local First Nations and communities makes this envisioned terminal a reality.”

Capital Cost, Economics, Funding and Delivery Schedule

Projected gross capital cost of $1.35 billion, excluding governmental incentives and support, and annual Partnership EBITDA of $185 million$215 million are in-line with the Joint Venture’s expectations. Vopak and AltaGas are expected to fund their pro-rata 50 percent ownership through each organization’s respective financial capacity with no leverage at the Partnership level.

The capital cost breakdown of Phase 1 includes approximately $875 million for construction of the facility, balance of the plant and LPG storage tanks and $475 million for construction of the new dedicated jetty and extensive rail and logistics infrastructure. The infrastructure includes additional redundancies to provide operational flexibility that benefits the Joint Venture and customers over the long term.

AltaGas will minimize onsite work to reduce capital cost risk, with approximately 90 percent of equipment, packaging and pipes being prefabricated offsite in controlled operating environments. In addition, AltaGas expects to lock-in more than 60 percent of the Phase 1 estimated capital cost through fixed-price, lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction contracts, prior to the start of construction of individual phases.

The bulk of REEF’s construction activities are planned to take place over 2025 and 2026 with select workstreams beginning in 2024. This includes plans for the Partners to incur approximately $200 million of incremental gross capital expenditures in 2024. As part of the positive FID, AltaGas is increasing its 2024 capital expenditure guidance from $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion. AltaGas maintains a disciplined approach to capital allocation and plans to fund its portion of the project using internally generated cash flows and its annual investment capacity. During construction, AltaGas will leverage the benefit of operating a diversified platform by adjusting capital spending across other parts of the business to ensure the company is balancing its three long-term objectives of financial strength and flexibility, continued organic growth, and long-term dividend growth.

Vopak’s disciplined capital allocation policy is driving value through accretive growth investments that will deliver attractive operating cash return. Vopak’s growth capex guidance for FY 2024 remains unchanged. The long-term commitment to invest EUR 1 billion to grow in industrial and gas by 2030 and EUR 1 billion to accelerate towards new energies by 2030 remains unchanged. Vopak plans to fund its portion of the project using the strong balance sheet position. The efficient use of the capital structure will further support cash flow generation at Vopak level.

REEF has strong community support following extensive stakeholder engagement

Vopak and AltaGas have been working closely with First Nations rights holders and key stakeholders, including the local communities in Northwestern British Columbia, as well as the PRPA, and Federal and Provincial regulators for more than five years to deliver a project that will operate with industry-leading environmental and community stewardship. AltaGas and Vopak have developed strong relationships with local Indigenous communities through its existing operations, where the partners have worked collaboratively on economic and social development opportunities, including skills training, emergency response preparedness and other community-identified priorities. REEF will drive strong economic benefits to these local communities in the region through construction activities, long-term job creation, and community investment targeted at driving positive economic outcomes across all stakeholders.

Vopak Conference Call

Vopak will host an analysts’ presentation with Vopak’s CFO, Michiel Gilsing via an on-demand audio webcast on Vopak’s corporate website, details as follows:

Appendix:

Project Overview

REEF will be developed on a 190-acre (77 hectare) site adjacent to AltaGas and Vopak’s existing Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET), on lands administered by the Port of Prince Rupert (PRPA) for which the Joint Venture has executed a long-term lease. REEF has been granted the key Federal and Provincial permits to construct storage tanks, a new dedicated jetty, rail and other infrastructure required to operate a state-of-the-art facility.

The project will have the capability to facilitate the export of LPGs, methanol and other bulk liquids that are vital for everyday life. The project will be developed and brought online in phases. This approach will provide the most capital efficient buildout of the project, match energy export supply with throughput capacity, mitigate impacts on local communities and provide local construction and employment opportunities that will extend over longer time horizons.

Phase 1 will include approximately 55,000 barrels a day of initial LPG export capacity, including propane and butane, 600,000 barrels of LPG storage (95 thousand cbm equivalent), a new dedicated multi-product jetty, and extensive rail and logistics infrastructure. The infrastructure will include 10 dual sided rail offloading slots and 25 kilometers of multi-track infrastructure that is unit-train capable and will provide flexibility to overcome congestion and outages. More than 80 percent of Phase 1 capital investments will be able to be leveraged in future REEF phases, providing capital efficient buildout of subsequent expansions. The REEF project design has multiple additional advantages compared to other recent large energy infrastructure projects in Canada, including being a single site and operating jurisdiction, having all major regulatory approvals in place, utilizing proven technologies and being aligned with the Partners’ core competencies.

As disclosed in the first quarter of 2024, AltaGas has made considerable contracting progress across its global exports’ platform, including tolling levels increasing to 56 percent starting in the second quarter of 2024. AltaGas is in active negotiations with several long-term counterparties, which would move the company to its long-term tolling target of 60 percent of total export volumes, for the beginning of the 2027 natural gas liquids (NGL) year, starting on April 1.

ALTAGAS AND VOPAK REACH POSITIVE FINAL INVESTMENT DECISION ON RIDLEY ISLAND ENERGY EXPORT FACILITY (CNW Group/AltaGas Ltd.)

REEF will be constructed under the Joint Venture’s exclusive rights for LPG exports on Ridley Island

REEF will be constructed and operate under AltaGas and Vopak’s existing exclusive rights granted by the PRPA to develop LPG, methanol and other bulk liquids exports on Ridley Island. The provision of these exclusive rights was important to ensure the certainty needed to advance large capital projects through long and fulsome development periods and ensure developers advance projects with comprehensive environmental and community stewardship.

REEF will have optionality for alternative fuels

In subsequent phases, the Joint Venture will have the option to progress evaluation work on fuels of the future, such as hydrogen, which has growing customer interest in Asia, particularly Japan and South Korea. The Joint Venture has strong core competencies in this area with Vopak offering one of the preeminent third-party hydrogen storage platforms globally, with multiple terminals in operation across several countries. Through this deep experience, the Partners will consider participation in hydrogen exports from Canada with evaluation work expected to be done methodically with a critical emphasis on safety and stewardship.

REEF benefits from structural west coast advantage to Asian markets

With only 10 shipping days to the fastest growing demand markets in Northeast Asia, REEF will be able to efficiently connect Canada’s vital energy products to the world. This includes having an approximate 60 percent base time savings over the U.S. Gulf Coast, which requires a minimum 25-day shipping time to Northeast Asia, and approximately 45 percent base time savings over the Arabian Gulf, which requires a minimum 18-day shipping time. This geographic advantage expands when there is significant congestion in the Panama Canal, as has recently been experienced or when other global shipping pinch points experience disruptions.

AltaGas and Vopak are pleased to move forward with REEF. The REEF project advances Canada’s growing role in connecting Canadian energy, vital to everyday life, to global markets. We are thankful to all stakeholders for their continued support and ongoing partnership.

About AltaGas

AltaGas is a leading North American infrastructure company that connects customers and markets to affordable and reliable sources of energy. The Company operates a diversified, lower-risk, high-growth Energy Infrastructure business that is focused on delivering resilient and durable value for its stakeholders.

From wellhead to tidewater, AltaGas’ Midstream business is focused on providing its customers with safe and reliable service and connectivity that facilitates the best outcomes for their businesses. This includes global market access for North American LPGs, which provides North American producers and aggregators with the best netbacks for LPGs while delivering diversity of supply and stronger energy security to its downstream customers in Asia.

Throughout AltaGas’ operations, the company is playing a vital role within the larger energy ecosystem that keeps the global economy moving forward and is powering the possible within our society, and in a safe, reliable, and affordable manner. For more information, please visit www.altagas.ca.

About Royal Vopak

Royal Vopak helps the world flow forward. At ports around the world, we provide storage and infrastructure solutions for vital products that enrich everyday life. These products include liquids and gases that provide energy for homes and businesses, chemicals for manufacturing products, and edible oils for cooking. For all of these, our worldwide network of terminals supports the global flow of supply and demand. For more than 400 years, Vopak has been at the forefront of fundamental transformations. With a focus on safety, reliability, and efficiency, we create new connections and opportunities that drive progress. Now more than ever, our talented people are applying this mindset to support the energy transition. Together with our partners and customers, we are accelerating the development of infrastructure solutions for hydrogen, ammonia, CO₂, long-duration energy storage, and low-carbon fuels & feedstocks – paving the way to a more sustainable future. Vopak is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam and is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.vopak.com.

For more information please contact:

AltaGas:

  • Analysts and Investors: Jon Morrison, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Investor Relations (Jon.Morrison@altagas.ca) or Aaron Swanson, Vice President, Investor Relations (Aaron.Swanson@altagas.ca)
  • Media Inquiries: Bryn Lukowiak, Senior Communications Advisor (media.relations@altagas.ca).

Vopak:

  • Analysts and Investors: Fatjona Topciu – Head of Investor Relations (investor.relations@vopak.com)
  • Press: Liesbeth Lans – Manager External Communication (global.communication@vopak.com)

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