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Alaska support sought

The developers of a proposed liquefied natural gas export facility in Alaska are pushing to gain federal and international support for the project despite growing scepticism that it will be built, writes Caroline Evans.

Alaska Gasline Development this week filed for approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site and construct the Alaska LNG terminal.

The proposed $45 billion to $65 billion mega-project is planned to include a liquefaction facility in Nikiski, a gas treatment plant on the North Slope, and transmission lines between Prudhoe Bay and Point Thomson.

The filing followed a 15 April meeting of the company's chief executive Keith Meyer with Governor Bill Walker, a longtime supporter of the project, and US Vice President Mike Pence, who was on his way to Asia to meet with leaders in South Korea and Japan — both potential markets for the Alaska LNG facility.

Meyer and Walker also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month to discuss the project.

"The Alaska LNG project offers tremendous upside potential for both Alaska and China," Meyer said. "This is a win-win opportunity."

However, doubts remain over the future of the Alaska LNG facility. Last September, ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips agreed to let the state of Alaska, through Alaska Gasline Development, to take over the project, citing commercial concerns.

In February, a report prepared by state-contracted consultants Enalytica was sceptical that Alaska Gasline Development will be able to secure financing and offtake agreements for the project.