Two gas companies have agreed to partner up to help deliver gas from the Fort St. John region.
As part of that agreement, they have agreed to work together to build a plant worth an estimated $325 to $350 million about 100 kilometres north of Fort St. John.
The agreement is between AltaGas – which controls quite a bit of the energy infrastructure in the Peace Region – and Painted Pony, a natural gas exploration and production company.
“"We are very pleased to enter into this strategic alliance with AltaGas," said Patrick Ward, president and CEO of Painted Pony. "We have established a strong working relationship with their team and our companies are fully aligned with respect to the potential for Montney gas development and the timing required for achieving our mutual goals.
The companies expect the “Townsend” plant to be built by the end of 2015. The plant is expected to process 198 million cubic feet per day worth of natural gas. The gas produced will be “sweet” – meaning it does not contain the poisonous hydrogen sulfide, which some other natural gas extracted does contain.
AltaGas already runs the Blair Creek plant about 20 kilometres north of the Townsend facility. Painted Pony has been a frequent customer at the existing plant.
However, it’s still unclear when the plant will begin construction, how many people the companies expect to employ during construction, how many people are expected to be employed after construction, or if these workers will be housed in camps or elsewhere.
After the plant is completed, the companies said in a release that they could expand the Townsend facility so that it could recover additional natural gas liquids as well as process and potentially sell more of Painted Pony’s natural gas reserves.
Ward said that Painted Pony already owns the property, and that it is already partially developed for industrial purposes. He added that they wanted to build the plant because they have already had success in the Montney region around Fort St. John. During the first and second quarters of 2015, they’ve increased production over 50 per cent, Ward said – and they would like a plant to process the gas they’re taking to make it suitable for the market.
Questions directed to AltaGas were not answered by press time.