Alaska LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Alaska LNG Terminal, formerly called the Alaska South Central LNG Terminal, is a proposed LNG terminal in Alaska, United States.

Location

The terminal is planned for Nikiski, Alaska.

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Project Details

  • Owner: Alaska Gasline Development Corporation
  • Parent: State of Alaska
  • Location: Nikiski, Alaska, United States
  • Coordinates: 60.707778, -151.262778 (approximate)
  • Capacity: 24.5 mtpa, 3.5 bcfd
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Export
  • Start Year: 2024

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Background

Alaska LNG Terminal is a proposed LNG terminal in Alaska, United States.[1]

The project would deliver 3.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day from Alaska's North Slope gas fields through a proposed 800-mile pipeline to the terminal, much of which will be for international export to Asia.[2][3] The project is projected to be the most expensive energy project in North American history.[4]

The proposal originally involved BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil, as well as the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. But the private oil companies pulled out of the project as an LNG surplus has depressed gas prices. Alaska’s Gasline Development Corporation, the only party committed to pursuing the project, submitted its application to FERC on April 17, 2017. Alaska’s application asks FERC to approve the project by December 2018 so that it can have the project operational by 2024.[5]

In November of 2017, China’s biggest state oil company, Sinopec, one of its top banks and its sovereign wealth fund agreed to fund development. The announcement, made with fanfare as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to China, lacked details about binding offtake agreements or financing. It is not known how this will effect development.[6]

In March of 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, which analyzes the project’s environmental impacts and necessary mitigation measures. FERC is expected to issue the final approval for Alaska LNG in June 2020.[7]

In May 2020, FERC authorized the Alaska LNG project.[8]

In June 2020, an Alaskan Native village council and a coalition of environmental groups filed a formal request for FERC to reconsider its approval of the project. Filed by the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, the Northern Alaska Environmental Center and Sierra Club, the appeal says that FERC's May 21 approval failed to consider the project’s impacts on climate change and endangered species, including polar bears, Cook Inlet beluga whales and North Pacific right whales. According to the appellants, the project’s pipeline would have a daily capacity of 3.3 billion cubic feet of gas. Burning that amount of gas could result in more than 76 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually, similar to building 20 new coal-fired power plants. Erin Whalen, an attorney at Earthjustice, commented: “Even those who support this project should be appalled at how dismissively FERC has treated its numerous significant impacts on Alaska and the climate, telling the public essentially not to look behind the curtain. The agency needs to scrap its order and start over.”[9]

Also in June 2020, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation announced that the cost estimate for the project had been revised down from US$44.2 billion to US$38.7 billion. The company's president Frank Richard said that these new costings would influence discussions with potential project partners though also stated that ultimately market conditions would determine the project's future.[10]

Opposition

Gov. Bill Walker has asked the Trump administration for fast-track approval of the project and to exempt it from dozens of environmental rules. On May 22, 2017 the Center for Biological Diversity filed a motion against the proposal, saying the project endangers the Cook Inlet beluga whales and North Pacific right whales.[5]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Alaska South Central LNG Terminal , A Barrel Full, accessed April 2017.
  2. "Alaska LNG Project Overview," Alaska LNG, accessed May 7, 2017.
  3. "Governor touts U.S.-China deal as helping Alaska LNG, but analysts are doubtful," Alaska Dispatch News, May 25, 2017
  4. "Alaska LNG provides more details on project construction," Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor's Office, 28 June 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Legal Action Challenges Nation's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Project," Center for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2017.
  6. Julie Gordon,China deal seen as no guarantee for Alaska LNG export project Reuters, November 9, 2017.
  7. ALASKA LNG PROJECT ACHIEVES MAJOR PERMITTING MILESTONE Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, March 6, 2020
  8. FERC Authorizes Alaska LNG Project Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, May 21, 2020
  9. "Filing Challenges Trump Administration Approval of Alaska LNG Project," Center for Biological Diversity, Jun. 23, 2020
  10. "Price tag drops to $38.7B for Alaska LNG Project," Kallanish Energy, Jun. 29, 2020

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