News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Kelly
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2018

Senate Keeps Forward Progress on Delivering Natural Gas to Interior

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JUNEAU – Fairbanks and North Pole took another step toward expanding access to clean and affordable natural gas today with the unanimous passage of SB 125 from the Alaska State Senate. SB 125 extends the bonding authorization for the Interior Energy Project (IEP), a critical financing component of the project.

“Fairbanks is a great community, but it's taken us a long time to crack the code of high energy prices,” said Senate President Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) the bill’s sponsor.

The IEP was created in 2013 through the passage of SB 23, and is a joint project between the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) and the Interior Gas Utility (IGU). It includes the liquefaction, transport, storage, regasification, and distribution of natural gas in the Interior. Among its financing package, SB 23 included $150 million in bonding authorization that is set to expire in June of this year. Though none of the bonding authorization has been used, the IEP team plans to deploy it to increase capacity of the LNG facility at Point MacKenzie and expand the gas distribution network to the more outlying areas of the community.

This past month, construction began on a 5.2 million-gallon large-scale LNG storage facility in South Fairbanks, which will support future customer growth of the combined utility system. First expanded gas availability is expected in late 2019 with full scale efforts to convert properties with access to the existing distribution system to gas the following year.

SB 125 is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration.

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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