FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaska Governor Bill Walker held a press conference today about China's proposed involvement in Alaska's liquid natural gas project.
This comes after Governor Walker's trip with President Donald Trump during which he met with China's President Xi Jinping.
During their meeting, they made a non-binding agreement with a China-based company to purchase Alaska natural gas.
During the press conference, Governor Walker spoke of potential advantages for Alaska, including cost cuts for heating homes by the equivalent of 1 dollar per gallon of heating oil - roughly a thousand dollars per household per year.
However, this plan is not without controversy; along with environmental concerns, some are saying the concept is not economically feasible.
Under the current plan, Alaska would owe China $35 billion for the construction.
The state would also have to raise another estimated $10 billion before the line could be constructed.
Keith Meyer, President of the state-run Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, joined Walker at the press conference and spoke of how Alaska is planning on repaying its debt to China, as well as what that means about the ownership of the pipeline.
Keith Meyers; President - Alaska Gasline Development>>"Essentially the points of the agreement; the Sinopec folks would take about 75 percent of the capacity of the facility. They would also provide the debt funding; China would provide the debt funding. So, we call it, basically debt for capacity; so, we're getting debt, we're paying with capacity. Makes for a beautiful fit between the two; we need the funding to build the project, they want the capacity, and so it really gets the benefit of both; and both parties working together. The other 25 percent we will keep and we will sell to regional...
That is the capacity, not the ownership. Ownership is separate. So, right now AGDC is 100 percent owner. We are talking to the Chinese folks about being an investor in the project; but they would be a minority investor, not a controlling investor. "
The plan to build the pipeline is set to be finalized by the end of next year.