The State has committed to a formal working relationship with a major Japanese financial institution that wants to develop natural gas projects.
Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan signed the memorandum of understanding with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation on Wednesday during a trip to Tokyo.
The deal is basically an act of financial diplomacy. It establishes that both parties have a mutual interest in getting Alaska natural gas to Japanese markets, and that there’s a potential for the two to work together on financing a gas pipeline or an export facility.
In a phone call from Japan, Sullivan said the agreement is about more than just this one bank. It’s also a good signal to other investors about the viability of Alaska projects.
“It is a big deal,” Sullivan said. “It boosts the credibility of Alaska’s gas commercialization efforts.”
Alaska has pursued a major natural gas project for years, but development has regularly stalled out for cost reasons and disagreements between major stakeholders.
- Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg heard oral arguments in a lawsuit on the issue. He said he’ll try to reach a decision as quickly as he can.
- Walker said he has spoken several times with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, whose vote could help determine the bill’s fate.
- State transportation crews are removing political campaign signs along state rights-of-way. Alaska law largely forbids signs anywhere visible from the roadway.
- The University of Alaska is offering up 400 acres of its Haines-area land for timber harvest. The timing of the university’s decision was motivated by a conversation happening at the local level. The Haines Planning Commission is considering whether to restrict resource extraction in the Mud Bay area.