Tim Bradner

Group hashes out railbelt power plan

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Liz Vazquez, chair of Chugach Electric Association’s board.
File Photo/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
   

Revenue Department reviews PPT

State Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin says an analysis of the state’s new Petroleum Profits Tax, or PPT, underway in his department shows no fundamental flaws so far in the state’s controversial petroleum tax law.

However, a decision on whether to hold a special session of the Legislature this fall to reconsider the PPT will likely be made on issues outside the tax law itself, Galvin said in an interview.

Ruling not a slam dunk for state

An Alaska Superior Court denied a request by Point Thomson leaseholders Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron May 1 to stay a state administrative ruling terminating the Point Thomson Unit, but also ordered the Department of Natural Resources to seek termination on the unit through separate judicial action.

AGIA gains ground in Legislature

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s proposed legislation setting the framework for new natural gas pipeline proposals has cleared two additional hurdles in the state Legislature, but not without receiving several changes along the way.

Key elements of the governor’s proposal, mainly having state officials choose a pipeline developer that commits to meet certain goals, are still intact in the legislation, however.

Gas leak takes Northstar field offline

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The Northstar field, which sits on a constructed gravel island in the Beaufort Sea north of the Prudhoe Bay field, will be down for an uncertain amount of time due to a small gas leak.
ARCHIVE PHOTO
   

Alaska economy strong, but inflation a worry

Alaska’s economy is stable but faces some real uncertainties after this year, a leading Alaska economist says.

The national economy, meanwhile, is on a roll that should continue through 2007, but inflation is an increasing worry, according to Wells Fargo Bank’s senior economist.

Both economists spoke at the World Trade Center Alaska’s annual economic forecast luncheon held in Anchorage Jan. 17.

Budget: What to cut?

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House Majority Leader Ralph Samuels, right, House Speaker John Harris, center, and Rep. Kevin Meyer answer questions Jan. 16 during a press conference on the first day of the state legislative session.
 
   

Port of Anchorage could move coal for Agrium

Agrium Corp.’;s plan to switch its Nikiski fertilizer plant from running on natural gas to coal would initially rely on coal shipped from the Usibelli coal mine at Healy to Anchorage and transferred to barges at the Port of Anchorage.

Agrium’;s project would require about 3 million metric tons of coal yearly. If all of the coal were acquired from Usibelli, it would require the company to approximately triple its current production of 1.5 million tons per year.

A spill...an upset...and a raid

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A worker cleans spilled oil from an early August oil spill at the Prudhoe Bay oil field.
PHOTO/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
   

It has been an almost-surreal series of events.

Unlikely allies

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Kate Troll is seen with former state Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot. Troll is executive director of the Alaska Conservation Alliance. Pourchot is a board member for Alaska Conservation Voters.
PHOTO/Rob Stapleton/AJOC
   
When it comes to green, some Alaskans see red. Green groups, that is, not the currency.

New fuel may allow Agrium plant to run at full throttle

Agrium U.S. Inc. hopes to switch its Kenai fertilizer plant’s feedstock from natural gas to coal, a move that might allow the plant to eventually return to its full production rate of 2 million tons per year of ammonia and urea fertilizer.

The plant is now producing at half capacity due to gas shortages.

If the project moves ahead it will still take several years to make the change, and operations at the plant may still have to be shut down if additional supplies of natural gas can’t be contracted, said Agrium’s Alaska manager, Bill Boycott, in a Nov. 16 briefing.

Final accord injects capital into ASI

 Agreements to restructure ownership and bring additional capital into troubled Alaska Seafood International Inc. were finalized Jan. 5.

John Brady, ASI’s chief executive officer, and Bob Poe, executive director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, announced that Taiwan-based Bank Sino Pac and Central Investment Holding Inc. have approved plans to inject additional capital into ASI.

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