In 2010, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 369, which ultimately established the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). The corporation was established as a subsidiary of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation with the specific directive to develop a plan for the state of Alaska on designing, financing, and constructing and operating an in-state natural gas pipeline to serve as many Alaskans as practicable along the 737 mile route. AGDC was directed to provide a plan to accomplish this work in the most economical and timely manner possible.
The Alaska Legislature has appropriated $72 million for AGDC to perform engineering, design, environmental and regulatory work on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) project since inception in 2010. The breakdown of the state funding to date is:
2010 – $15,640,600 2011 – $28,200,000 2012 – $21,000,000
With the funding appropriated, the ASAP team has performed work to move the project through initial work planning to the second phase of the staged project work known as critical “front end loaded” or “FEL II” project work. In this phase, the ASAP project team will complete more of the extensive field work, regulatory work and data analysis necessary to progress the engineering and design of the pipeline. State funding for AGDC has a direct impact on the work progress and planning for the ASAP project. In the current 2013 legislative session, HB 4 is written to provide multi-year funding for the in-state gasline project of up to $320+ million. AGDC reporting on the expenditures and the allocations of state funds would remain public with the corporation reporting regularly to the state on the progress of delivering Alaska’s gas to Alaskans.
In an effort to maintain the highest level of transparency on the work being conducted by the corporation, AGDC presented a Project Plan Update to the Governor and the Legislature on January 11, 2013. The project update is another method of informing the public and the Alaska governing bodies on the progress, work deliverables and future recommendations from the organization. The Plan Update summarizes: the optimized design of the pipeline to deliver “lean gas” or natural gas supply that is ready for consumer use; a request for multi-year funding to allow the gasline office to continue critical path work in the planning and preparation of holding an open season and ultimately moving the project forward to project sanction; it discusses the ownership model for the project; it covers the process with procurement of Builder/Owner/Operator or Builder/Operator dependent on ownership; execute the commercial, finance, engineering and permitting plans as detailed in the Project Plan; and adopt the route selected in the Plan. House Bill 4, sponsored by Speaker Chenault and Representative Hawker, contains the current legislation addressing the work on the ASAP pipeline. Click here to view HB 4.
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, HB 4 In-State Gasline Development Corporation was introduced by Speaker Chenault and Representative Hawker. This legislation includes four key components that are critical for moving the ASAP project forward and bringing affordable gas to Alaskans. Passage of HB 4 would:
- advance the ASAP pipeline design work through Open Season
- enable AGDC to enter into confidential agreements as necessary for commercial and proprietary discussions with producers and shippers
- designate the ASAP project with contract carrier status for the purpose of negotiating and entering into long-term contracts
- grant AGDC the authority to determine how the ASAP pipeline will be owned and operated
HB 4 is currently moving through committees in the House of Representatives. Most recently, HB 4 passed through House Resources and will be moving on to the House Finance Committee. Testimony on the ASAP project has been heard in the House and Senate Resources committees as well as the Special Committee on In-State Energy.