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Inter Pipeline’s NGL Processing business consists of 100 percent ownership interests in the Cochrane and Empress II plants and a 50 percent ownership interest in the Empress V plant (collectively the “Straddle Plants”). The Empress II and V plants are located on the Eastern leg of the NGTL System, and the Cochrane plant is located on the Western leg near the natural gas export points from the province of Alberta. These plants process pipeline quality natural gas to remove natural gas liquids (NGL) comprised of ethane, propane, butane and pentanes-plus. The NGL stream is then partially fractionated to produce a specification ethane product and propane plus, a mixture of propane, butane and pentanes-plus.

In addition, Inter Pipeline has 100 percent ownership interests in two offgas plants located near Fort McMurray, Alberta, an ethane-plus fractionation plant near Redwater, Alberta, and the Boreal pipeline system that connects these facilities (collectively the “offgas processing business”). The two offgas plants have the capacity to recover approximately 40,000 b/d of an ethane-plus mixture from upgrader offgas, a by-product of bitumen upgrading operations. Once extracted, the liquids mix is shipped via pipeline to Redwater where it is fractionated into marketable products and sold across North America.

In 2019, the straddle plants processed an average of 3.3 bcf/d of natural gas producing an average of 107,600 b/d of NGL. In September 2016, Inter Pipeline acquired the offgas business adding ~40,000 b/d of ethane-plus production capacity bringing the combined business total production capacity to over 240,000 b/d. NGL are generally used directly as an energy product and as a feedstock for the petrochemical and crude oil refining industries.

In addition, Inter Pipeline is actively contracting a world-scale, integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) plant. The facilities, collectively referred to as the Heartland Petrochemical Complex, are estimated to cost approximately $4.0 billion in aggregate and will be located near Inter Pipeline’s Redwater Olefinic Fractionator in Strathcona County, Alberta. Read more about this project here.

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Straddle Plant Specifications
Asset Ownership Processing Capacity
Cochrane 100% 2.5 bcf natural gas
100,000 b/d of NGL
Empress II 100% 2.6 bcf natural gas
65,000 b/d of NGL
Empress V 50% 1.1 bcf natural gas
39,000 b/d of NGL
Offgas Processing Business Specifications   
Asset Ownership Capacity
Offgas plants 100% ~40,000 b/d
Boreal pipeline system 100% ~43,000 b/d
Redwater fractionation plant 100% ~40,000 b/d
PDH and PP Specifications* 
Asset Ownership Capacity
Heartland Petrochemical Complex 100%

Input: 22,000 b/d of propane

Output: 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene

in-service date of early 2022, subject to mitigation plans