The state is starting negotiations with MWH Americas Inc. to build a liquefied natural gas facility on the North Slope that would serve households across the Interior.
The board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority unanimously chose the global infrastructure firm on Jan. 14 to be its private sector partner for the Interior Energy Project, a state-backed program to truck LNG to Fairbanks by late 2015.
Among other reasons, AIDEA staff recommended MWH as the best choice because the company proposed the largest private contribution of the three candidates being considered for the project. A larger private investment would allow more of the fixed public funding for the project to go toward expanding the distribution grid in the Interior, which would increase the customer base for the LNG plant, according to AIDEA staff.
The AIDEA board spent nearly two hours in executive session before voting.
After soliciting interest in the project last year, AIDEA received proposals in November 2013 from MWH Americas Inc., Pentex Alaska Natural Gas Co. LLC and Spectrum Alaska LLC. AIDEA staff spent the intervening months comparing the three proposals.
Now, AIDEA wants to sign a letter of intent with MWH by the end of the month, produce a development agreement by mid-March and close the deal by the end of May.
Given that quick timeline, the AIDEA board ranked the remaining proposals by preference. Should negotiations with MWH fall apart, AIDEA would begin negotiations with Pentex Alaska Natural Gas Co. LLC and then with Spectrum Alaska LLC.
See story in Jan. 19 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 17 at www.PetroleumNews.com