Wall Street Journal says Asian buyers aren’t sold on Alaska’s big LNG project

By Northern Journal - July 26, 2023
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Copyright Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

A new Wall Street Journal report says Alaska’s major proposed liquefied natural gas export project, Alaska LNG, is not getting traction with potential buyers in its key markets of Japan and South Korea.

Citing unnamed sources, the story — headlined “U.S. Allies in Asia Snub Natural Gas From Alaska Project” — says “potential buyers aren’t confident in the project’s timeline” and adds that competing projects will offer other sources of natural gas by 2030.

“The most important thing for buyers is evaluating how feasible an LNG project is, and with Alaska LNG, we’ve seen too little progress for too long,” the story quotes “an official in charge of LNG projects at one of Japan’s top importers” as saying.

Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, along with Biden administration officials, have been boosting the project in the past year, saying it’s closer than ever as American allies seek to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

In a prepared statement in response to the story, a spokesman for the state agency leading the project, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., said it’s in “advanced discussions with well-qualified international LNG investors, developers and buyers, including from Japan and Korea.”

“These companies possess the necessary capitalization and expertise to develop a project of this magnitude and are expending significant time and financial resources to thoroughly evaluate Alaska LNG,” said spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick. “We remain on track with our previously identified schedule for this project, which will provide greater energy security for the U.S. and our Pacific allies.”

Northern Journal is a newsletter written by Anchorage journalist Nat Herz. It’s free to subscribe, and stories are also free to Alaska news outlets to republish through a partnership with the Alaska Beacon.