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Alaska LNG one step closer to reality


(Anchorage, AK) Alaska has cleared the biggest regulatory hurdle to developing a long-sought North Slope natural gas pipeline project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday issued a record of decision authorizing construction of the state’s plan for the many-billion-dollar Alaska LNG Project, concluding a three-year-plus environmental impact statement process.

AGDC President Frank Richards called it a “momentous day for the project” and thanked FERC for largely sticking to its timeline for the EIS during a Thursday morning meeting of the AGDC board.

AGDC submitted its application for the massive project to FERC in April 2017.

“As anybody in the infrastructure development process knows, to go through the (National Environmental Policy Act) process in three years is an exceptionally fast time,” Richards said.

Since the current iteration of the project began in 2013, the three major Slope producers and the state have spent more than $600 million to reach this point, with the state share about $240 million of that total.

At its core, the project consists of a large North Slope gas treatment plant; an 807-mile 42" buried natural gas pipeline from the Slope to the Kenai Peninsula; off take points for state use, and a three-train liquefaction plant at Nikiski capable of producing up to 20 million metric tons of LNG per year for export to Asian markets.

If developed, the project would generate upwards of 18,000 jobs during construction and roughly 1,000 new jobs during its 30-year operational life, according to AGDC and state Labor Department estimates. It would also provide natural gas to the Fairbanks area and other communities along the pipeline route that currently rely on fuel oil for heating and in some cases power generation.

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