Regulators issue final Alaska LNG Project impact statement

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska A federal commission has issued the final environmental impact statement for the $40 billion Alaska LNG Project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released the document Friday that largely affirmed the plan proposed by the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corp., The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported.

The Alaska LNG Project is the latest attempt to commercialize large volumes of North Slope natural gas.

State and energy company officials have tried since the 1970s to compile a plan to produce and sell the gas considered “stranded” because the remote location lacks infrastructure to get the gas to local or global markets.

AGDC and the state labor department have estimated the project would generate around 18,000 jobs during construction and about 1,000 new jobs during its 30-year operational life.

The final environmental impact statement, which includes more than 150,000 pages of data, supported AGDC’s conclusion that the project should terminate in Nikiski.

Officials in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the City of Valdez had objected to the proposed end point in Nikiski, contending their areas were not adequately considered.

The end point was selected in 2013 when the project was led by a consortium of North Slope producers. The information provided by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough regarding Port MacKenzie was added to the impact statement but did not change the final decision, the report said.

Regulatory officials rejected locating the LNG plant at Anderson Bay near Valdez in part because it would require 113 miles (182 kilometers) of spur pipelines to transfer gas to Fairbanks and Anchorage, which would have additional environmental impacts.

Valdez leaders insisted the spur lines should not be evaluated as part of the overall project, the impact statement said.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the final impact statement a “milestone” for the project and commended the work of AGDC officials throughout the three-year permitting effort.