Astomos Energy, a Japanese energy company, has signed an agreement with AltaGas Ltd. to purchase 50 percent of the yearly amount of propane exported from the company’s Ridley Island Export Terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.
The two companies announced a memorandum of understanding in May 2016. With the official signing of the agreement, Astomos expects to see its first shipment of propane from the terminal in the first quarter of 2019.
About 24 million Japanese homes use propane for cooking and heating. According to Dan Woznow, vice president of energy exports at AltaGas, this agreement is an opportunity for Japan to secure supply of an energy form they regularly use.
According to the company, Japan is only a 10-day voyage from Prince Rupert, compared with a 25-day voyage for vessels from the Gulf Coast. This shorter journey is a main reason for Astomos’ interested in Canadian propane, notes Woznow.
Astomos globally handles more than 10 million tons of LP gas annually and currently operates a fleet of 21 very large gas carriers. “I firmly believe this contributes to the stable supply of LPG for a stable energy supply in Japan, and it maximizes the value of the natural gas resources for AltaGas and for Canada,” says Osamu Masuda, president of Astomos.