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Vol. 15, No. 32 Week of August 08, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

AK-WA Connection 2010: Alaska-Washington trade

Rose Ragsdale

Alaska-Washington Connection

Welcome to the “The Alaska-Washington Connection – Recovering Economic Momentum.”

The relationship between Alaska and Washington businesses is just as important today as it was more than a century ago, and mining is proving to be as critical to that connection as it ever was. Alaska’s economy is recovering its upward momentum, and Washington businesses are providing crucial support.

This is the third consecutive year that Petroleum News has published highlights of the important business relationship between these two regions, sharing unique stories of businesses that prosper in the Alaska-Washington trade. Our companies are not only surviving tough economic times, but actually thriving as they find ways to better serve their customers, employees and communities. TransNorthern Aviation and Taiga Ventures, for example, are Alaska-grown businesses with a spirit of service that fuel their ongoing success.

Mining reinforces the connection

Alaska’s mining industry has emerged as a particularly vital sector of the state’s economy during the past 18 months. Large expansion projects at existing mines like Red Dog near Kotzebue, Fort Knox near Fairbanks and Greens Creek near Juneau — along with exciting new mining ventures such as Kensington Mine near Juneau, the Donlin Creek and Pebble projects in western Alaska and Livengood in the Interior — are spurring creation of high-paying mining jobs and all-important training opportunities for Alaskans.

This mining activity is a lifeline for the Puget Sound’s major ports of Seattle and Tacoma and for numerous Alaska and Washington transportation companies, like Lynden Inc. and Alaska Air Cargo.

The Port of Tacoma considers Alaska one of its top 3 trade partners, reflecting more than $3.5 billion in annual trade.

The Port of Seattle, a major hub for Alaska’s commercial fishing and cruise ship industries, supports more than 200,000 jobs and generates more than $12 billion in revenue annually.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is Alaska’s most important air gateway, serving 31 million passengers annually.

Focus on innovation and service

Alaska companies, including Alaska Railroad Corp., Chiulista Services Inc., Denali Industrial

Supply and Nalco Co. are responding to the growing mining industry with an array of sophisticated good and services. Washington-based businesses like Emerald Alaska also support Alaska resource development in important ways, while others serve Alaska’s tourism, fishing, and interstate commerce sectors. This diverse community succeeds in making the Alaska-Washington connection.



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