Workers obtain a soil sample near Autumn Road on Oct. 9, 2014, in Nikiski, where the Alaska LNG Project would locate a facility to cool natural gas into a liquid form for export. Alaska Gasline Development Corp. staff told federal regulators it plans to begin work to relocate a stretch of highway near the proposed site next year, although it still lacks funds for land acquisition or construction. (Photo/File/Rashah McChesney)

Workers obtain a soil sample near Autumn Road on Oct. 9, 2014, in Nikiski, where the Alaska LNG Project would locate a facility to cool natural gas into a liquid form for export. Alaska Gasline Development Corp. staff told federal regulators it plans to begin work to relocate a stretch of highway near the proposed site next year, although it still lacks funds for land acquisition or construction. (Photo/File/Rashah McChesney)

Kenai Council unanimously supports Alaska LNG in Nikiski

The City of Kenai has joined the Kenai Peninsula Borough in supporting Nikiski as the location for Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s (AGDC) liquefaction plant and marine terminal.

The Kenai City Council passed a resolution unanimously Wednesday night fully supporting AGDC’s application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would put the liquefied natural gas terminal in Nikiski.

“Right now, the Nikiski plan is the preferred location,” said Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel at Wednesday’s council meeting. “There’s been a lot of property acquisition and a lot of work out there in support of this project, to this plan.”

The AGDC filed its application to FERC in April 2017 with Nikiski as their top choice, after an exhaustive engineering effort considering locations across the state, according to city documents.

Gabriel said, though, that cities like Matanuska Borough and Valdez have expressed interest in seeing the Alaska LNG Project in their community.

“I think it’s important for us to make sure that we, as part of this process, emphasize the point that we do support this in our community,” Gabriel said. “I think that’s important for the process.”

The resolution was sponsored by Gabriel, but after an amendment from Council Member Tim Navarre, each council member’s name and signature was attached to the approved resolution. A copy of the approved resolution will be sent to several key figures in the project, including U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and representatives from FERC.

“I hope that we as a city fully support this,” Navarre said. “It’s in the city’s best interest and the state of Alaska’s best interest,” Navarre said.

The resolution is meant only to show support, though, not address any concerns the community may have with the Alaska LNG Project.

“For residents in Nikiski, this is just a general resolution that supports the project,” Council Member Bob Molloy said. “… Whatever issues there are with the project that are controversial among Nikiski residents, such as what road route or the water supply or anything like that, this doesn’t address that. It supports the project being in Nikiski, which I feel is good for Nikiski.”

The resolution was met with resounding support from all council members, but council member Robert Peterkin disclosed a potential conflict of interest that was dismissed.

“I’ve been pretty involved in this since they bought property from me,” Peterkin said. “They’re negotiating more property from me as well and I’m in a bit of a nondisclosure with them.”

The council agreed that there was no conflict of interest.

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