Anchorage port plan calls for construction, even without full funding
James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, March 21, 2019
Even if it doesn’t have all the money in hand, the Municipality of Anchorage will begin construction on the first phase of the Port of Alaska replacement project next summer, Municipal Manager Bill Falsey told state lawmakers in a Thursday hearing of the Senate Finance Committee. That first phase, which involves a new terminal for petroleum and cement deliveries, is estimated to cost about $223 million. According to figures presented to the Legislature by Falsey, the municipality is about $111 million short. The money on hand will cover work through summer 2020. When that money runs out, “we will have the options of how we can raise that cash,” Falsey told lawmakers. “For the remainder of the facilities that live at the Port of Anchorage, that is not a this-year project.”
Our take: Building and maintaining infrastructure is a role of government. Replacement of the port is a problem that has gone on for years and effects every Alaskan. It is critical that we get the problem solved.
In these times of reduced state budgets, Alaska should look to AIDEA to develop the access roads, ports and projects that will be built in partnership with private capital to develop our natural resources and diversify the economy. AIDEA is the engine that will propel the development of the infrastructure necessary to support the resource potential of Alaska. Using its financial resources for nondevelopment purposes would defeat AIDEA’s purpose and adversely affect resource development.
Our take: Mark Davis of AIDEA gave an update to our membership about the proposed Ambler Road project. It is the furthering of projects like this that would continue to show that Alaska is, indeed, open for business.
Oil Hovers Near $60 as Stronger Dollar Caps Supply-Driven Rally
Ben Foldy, Bloomberg, March 21, 2019
Crude has gained more than 30 percent in 2019 as output reductions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners, as well as supply disruptions in Venezuela and Iran, countered growing American shale production. Still, the gains have been checked by concerns that a slowing global economy and a protracted trade dispute between the U.S. and China will impede fuel consumption.
Novatek will be allowed to operate foreign LNG Carriers on the Northern Sea Route
Malte Humpert, ArcticToday, March 22, 2019
Natural gas company Novatek was granted an exemption from a new law banning foreign-flagged oil and gas carriers from the Northern Sea Route. The ban would have been detrimental to Novatek’s $20 billion Arctic LNG 2 project. Under a new decree, Novatek and its shipping partners are allowed to operate or charter foreign vessels to transport LNG from the port of Sabetta to transshipment hubs or ports outside the NSR. The government removed 26 tankers currently under long-term contracts from the ban and granted permission for them to sail until the end of 2044. In order to accommodate additional vessels on a short-term basis, which are of crucial importance to Novatek during the summer months, the decree also allows for additional foreign-flagged LNG carriers if they are chartered for at least six months until December 31, 2021.