A new economic force is coming to Alaska, bringing the potential to create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. Recent developments in the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s proposed liquefied natural gas project bring promise of a new, revitalized Alaskan economy. It is an initiative that could transform the state into a critical hub for U.S. energy dominance, meeting energy needs of countries all over the world.
On March 13, 2018, the LNG pipeline project saw major progress when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced it had the proper information to move forward with analysis and scheduling of the pipeline project, with an expected authorization date of March 8, 2020. At this rate, construction could be poised for completion by 2025.
This means that the project, which has been a talking point for Alaska’s governors and major energy producers since the 1980s, is moving closer to becoming reality, bringing extensive opportunity for local business growth.
A report issued in April 2018 by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development states that beyond the 12,000 construction jobs and 1,000 long-term operations jobs that would be created by the project, the state estimates that the pipeline project will induce economic activity that will demand the creation of around 6,000 jobs during the 6-year construction period and 500 jobs during operation in sectors such as retail, transportation and banking.
The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s current proposal involves building an 800-mile pipeline from the north slope to a proposed liquefied natural gas plant in Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula. The project has been on the fast track since capturing the attention of Chinese oil and gas companies and investment banks. As of March 2018, China’s Sinopec, an oil and gas company based out of Beijing, and the Bank of China alongside Goldman Sachs have signed on to coordinate capital for the multibillion-dollar development, further securing the future of this transformative infrastructure project.