March 2nd, 2021

Rail terminal part of propane extraction facility near Empress

By Collin Gallant on June 20, 2018.

Medicine Hat News


A new $120-million propane extraction facility near Empress will include a new rail terminal to ship the production west, Cypress County council heard on Tuesday.

Pembina Pipelines announced this winter it would build a new facility near its straddle plant in northern Cypress County during an update to investors.

A public hearing on Monday in Dunmore resulted in agricultural land near the industrial complex being rezoned to accommodate a planned rail yard that would be built to ship out the production via the Great Sandhills Railline.

Company officials were on hand at Tuesday’s hearing but did not testify before county councillors unanimously approved the application. Media inquires were forwarded to the company’s Calgary office, which did not return calls on Tuesday.

The new facility itself would strip propane out of massive natural gas volumes, either to be used at a proposed plastics plant in central Alberta or to the West Coast then oversees via a planned terminal in Prince Rupert.

The company was awarded $300 million in royalty credits from the Alberta government’s 2016 Petrochemical Diversification program toward building its planned $4-billion propylene plastics plant near Edmonton.

Advanced design work on the Empress facility was to begin in April. It’s planned to go into operation in late 2020.

Specific to the rail facility, the quarter-section in question features a shortline rail right-of-way slashing across the northeast corner. A spurline would be added to service a terminal of about 80 acres.

The entire section borders Highway 545 on the south, and abuts the Saskatchewan boundary to the east. Road access will be made available via a currently undeveloped road allowance on the Saskatchewan side.

Propane product would be piped from the expansion located about one mile away, closer to the major plant. A butane truck terminal and some new facility work is expected as well.

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