Originally published in the Peninsula Clarion
The timeline for the Alaska LNG project — a planned 806-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas from the North Slope to a liquefaction plant and terminal in Nikiski — has not been affected by the federal government shutdown, but progress on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline has been halted due to the shutdown, according to a recent community update.
“We’re waiting on a signed record of decision from both the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Land Management,” said Lisa Parker, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s stakeholder engagement manager, at the Jan. 15 Alaska LNG Advisory Committee meeting. “That has been affected by the shutdown. We don’t know when we will receive those records of decisions. Once we receive them, the only outstanding issues with ASAP would be getting state local permits that would be required.”
Parker also said the Federal Regulatory Commission is requesting more data for the Alaska LNG project.
“We thought we received the last data request, however, our Christmas present on Dec. 26 was a note from FERC with 91 additional data requests,” Parker said.
She said the majority of data requested is engineering related, and they won’t affect the draft environmental impact statement, which is set to be released by the end of February.
Parker said they plan to respond to all of the data requests by June. As of last Tuesday, the project has received 1,655 data requests from FERC. All but 111 data requests have been responded to.
Both Valdez and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough have expressed interest in housing the Alaska LNG project, but the likelihood of the Alaska LNG project staying in Nikiski seemed high after Parker’s update. In the last two months, formal resolutions supporting the Alaska LNG project in Nikiski have been passed borough wide, from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, and the cities of Kenai, Soldotna, Homer, Seward and Seldovia.
“So you have support from Seward to Seldovia that the facility should be located here in your neighborhood,” Parker said.
The draft environmental impact statement coming at the end of February will identify a location for the Alaska LNG project. All of the work that has gone into identifying facilities and infrastructure would need to be replicated in those communities. The Alaska LNG project thus far has already cost tens of millions of dollars, Parker said.
“The draft (environmental impact statement) will identify a location for a liquefaction plant facility, which 99 percent of me says will be Nikiski,” Parker said. “Will there be people that challenge that and say we want it in other places? I suspect yes… I don’t see FERC coming back and identifying a different location.”