Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy has named four new members to the seven-member board of directors governing the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the state company aiming to build the Alaska LNG project to supply Asian nations.
Governor Dunleavy, a Republican, named two oil and gas industry supporters, Doug Smith and Dan Coffey, both of Anchorage, to replace outgoing board members Hugh Short of Girdwood and Joey Merrick of Eagle River.
The two other appointees were Department of Labor Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune to serve as State of Alaska department-level members of the AGDC Board.
The Alaska LNG developers are expected to spend up to $45 billion to build an 800-mile gas pipeline from the North Slope in northern Alaska to a planned liquefaction plant in Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage.
A gas processing plant, needed mainly to remove carbon dioxide from the Prudhoe Bay gas, would also be built on the North Slope.
“Alaskans have long focused on the benefits of reduced energy costs, bringing our rich energy resources to market and monetizing our North Slope gas,” said Dunleavy
“The announcement continues those goals, while putting in place the personnel to make diligent review of the project,” he added.
“AGDC is tasked with a very complex mission and I look forward to seeing how best the State can assist in moving a project forward,” he explained.
“Each one of our appointees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to table, including in areas of resource development, labor and workforce, regulatory issues and oversight, and I look forward to working closely with them in the future,” stated Dunleavy.
AGDC is governed by a seven-member board of directors, five public members and two principal department heads of the State of Alaska.
Board members are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the legislature.
The four new members will join existing AGDC board members Dave Cruz of Palmer, Alaska, David Wright of Anchorage, and Warren Christian from the town of North Pole.
The board changes come as AGDC is expected to sign a final joint development agreement with Chinese investors by the end of the first quarter of 2019.
These include companies such as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, and Chinese banks.
Dunleavy was sworn in as Alaska's governor on December 3. The former incumbent, Bill Walker, was an independent and dropped his re-election bid in October.
Dunleavy, a former state senator, won office by defeating Democratic former US Senator Mark Begich in November’s election.
The first agreement with Sinopec, a potential main customer for the project, was signed by AGDC in November 2017 to purchase up to 75 percent of the venture’s expected 20 million tonnes per annum of output.
The initial accord was signed during President Trump’s state visit to China in the presence of Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.