In the Reference Case of a recent report, the National Energy Board (NEB) projects Canada’s propane production will increase 63 per cent from 2017 to 2040. Most production growth will be from increased natural gas production, because most of Canada’s propane supply comes from processing natural gas.
Figure 1: Projected Propane Supply and Disposition through 2040
In the early 2020s, the NEB projects a shift in disposition (or demand) for Canadian propane. Alberta’s petrochemical demand is projected to grow, outpacing the growth in propane production. This also shrinks the propane available for exports.
However, in the later years, the propane production is projected to grow, and with it, the projected exports also grow. Overall, export demand continues to be strong throughout the projection period given growing U.S. petrochemical demand, U.S. propane exports, and exports off Canada’s west coast.
Altagas and Vopek’s Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C. began exporting in mid-2019. Pembina’s Prince Rupert Terminal in Watson Island, B.C., is scheduled to begin exporting in the mid-2020s.