Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Attendees talk to each other during the Alaska LNG Project's business information session  on Wednesday, April 29 at the Cannery Lodge in Kenai.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Attendees talk to each other during the Alaska LNG Project's business information session on Wednesday, April 29 at the Cannery Lodge in Kenai.

Alaska LNG presents information to local businesses

Although few specifics of the Alaska Liquid Natural Gas Project’s contracting procedures have been worked out, Alaska LNG contracting engineer Dan DeVries felt confident telling a diverse gathering of Kenai Peninsula contractors, service-providers, and business owners that “for this project, we (Alaska LNG) will need basically everything.”

On Wednesday, DeVries spoke to approximately 146 registered guests at the Cannery Lodge in Kenai during the Alaska LNG’s information session for businesses interested in working on the project of building more than 800 miles of pipeline from northern Alaska gas fields to a liquefaction and storage facility to be constructed in Nikiski.

LNG external affairs manager Kim Fox said that the number of contracted jobs Alaska LNG might seek and its budget for those jobs were “impossible to say right now” because neither the contracting strategy nor the exact engineering of the estimated $45-$65 billion project have been determined. However, Alaska LNG was able to present attendees with a long list of general needs, including construction and administrative services, environmental consultation, material supply, aviation, land, and marine transport, medical services, snow removal, pest control, and cleaning, catering, garbage disposal, and maintenance services for the work camps the project is anticipated to require.

During his presentation, DeVries said that the majority of the work will be subcontracted by competitive bidding through a group of prime contractors who have yet to be hired. He said Alaska LNG will prioritize local hiring because local businesses have experience working under Alaska environmental conditions, and that contractors and subcontractors will be held to environmental, safety, quality, and cost standards that have not yet been finalized.

Many of the project’s contracting decisions will be made following a logistics study by PRL Logistics, which was represented at the information session by its external affairs director Dianne Blumer and by president and Cannery Lodge owner Ron Hyde.

Hyde said that the local logistical needs of the Alaska LNG project will go beyond the construction of the pipeline and liquefaction plant.

“The project is currently developing their estimate of demand,” Hyde said. “And what we’re finding is that tremendous infrastructure will have to be built. Additional roads, additional improvements to port facilities, tons of man-camp type locations. The socioeconomic impact to the workforce is going to be massive… for transportation and logistics, there’s going to be huge, huge opportunities.”

Although speakers at the session emphasized the importance of hiring local businesses, many expect the massive demands of the project to exceed locally available labor supply. Rebecca Logan, general manager of the state-wide trade association Alaska Support Industry Alliance, said that although outside workers will likely be brought in, doing so would not necessarily displace qualified Alaskan workers.

“Every Alaskan who wants to work on this project who is capable will have the opportunity,” Logan said. “It’s going to be one of the largest projects not only in Alaska, but in North America. And when you talk about the workforce we have… we will never be able to meet the complete need. But our goal is to help every Alaskan company and worker who wants to work on that project be able to work on that project.”

Logan estimated that the majority of conference attendees were Alliance members. She said that although the Alliance will not participate directly in the contracting process, preparing for the possibility of LNG contracts could become a focus of its educational sessions for members.

“I could envision us getting us into some technical training to help some of these small contractors prepare for that,” Logan said. “Maybe looking at some of the bigger LNG projects in the U.S. that have been completed, and what those areas have done to help their smaller local contacts participate.”

At least one representative of local government also attended the session. Larry Persily, an assistant to Kenai Borough Mayor Mike Navarre hired to serve as the Borough’s liaison with the LNG project, said that although none of the information presented was new to him, he attended in order “to get a sense of the questions from the community.”

Persily, who also attended a previous information session in Anchorage, said that ensuring local hiring was a concern he had heard voiced in both places. When asked if the Kenai Peninsula Borough is able to do anything to encourage local hire, Persily said “We’ll keep reminding them so they don’t forget.”

“Certainly Alaska’s not going to be able to fill every job on this project,” Persily said. “So it’s a matter of working on job training so you fill as many as possible, but also accepting that some are not going to be filled with Alaskans, and there the borough wants to make sure that if they have to bring in temporary workers the impact on services is manageable. If you talk about work camps, and highway traffic, it’s going to be more of an impact if you have to bring in a lot of workers than if you use people who live here. So we’ll be tracking all of them and sticking our nose in as best we can.”

Although the contracting process has yet to begin, interested businesses are presently able to add their names to a list on Alaska LNG’s website. Fox said that prior to the information sessions, which in addition to Wednesday’s meeting in Kenai include previous meetings in Anchorage and Fairbanks and a May 1 presentation in Barrow, approximately 150 businesses had done so.

 

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Local candidates report support from state PACs

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races

Signs and examples on the recycling super sack at the Cook Inletkeeper Community Action Studio show which plastics are desired as part of the project in Soldotna, Alaska, on Aug. 11, 2022. Plastics from types 1, 2, 4 and 5 can be deposited.(Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local nonprofit accepting plastics for synthetic lumber project

The super sack receptacles can be found on either side of Soldotna

This July 28, 2022, photo shows drag queen Dela Rosa performing in a mock election at Cafecito Bonito in Anchorage, Alaska, where people ranked the performances by drag performers. Several organizations are using different methods to teach Alaskans about ranked choice voting, which will be used in the upcoming special U.S. House election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Groups get creative to help Alaska voters with ranked voting

Organizations have gotten creative in trying to help voters understand how to cast their ballot, as the mock election featuring drag performers shows

A school bus outside of Kenai Central High School advertises driver positions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Staff shortage, gas prices change school bus routes

The changes do not apply to the district’s special education students

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
The show goes on as Triumvirate seeks funding for new theater

The troupe has staged shows and events and is looking to debut a documentary as it raise funds for new playhouse

Aaron Surma, the executive director for National Alliance on Mental Illness Juneau and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, leads a safety plan workshop Tuesday night hosted by NAMI and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. The workshop was a collaborative brainstorming session with Juneau residents about how to create a safety plan that people can use to help someone who is experiencing a mental health or suicide crisis. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Study shows a rise in anxiety and depression among children in Alaska

Increase may indicate growing openness to discussing mental health, according to experts

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer addresses election information and misinformation during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. (Screenshot)
With a week to go, officials work to clear up election confusion

Officials provided updated ballot statistics, fielded questions from reporters and clarified misconceptions about the current election cycle

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 21 new COVID deaths; cases down from last week

20 of the reported deaths took place from May to July

A closeup of one of the marijuana plants at Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, Alaska, as seen on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly streamlines process for marijuana establishment license applications

License applications will now go straight to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for consideration

Most Read