In this April 26 photo, Gov. Bill Walker holds a press conference at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this April 26 photo, Gov. Bill Walker holds a press conference at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Gov. Bill Walker expected to make gasline announcement tonight

Gov. Bill Walker is expected to make a significant announcement tonight on the future of the proposed trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Walker, who is in Beijing, told state lawmakers by email to be prepared for a briefing at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.

That briefing will follow an announcement from President Donald Trump, who is also in China.

Walker traveled to China late last week from Washington, D.C. in what was billed as an attempt to garner support for the AKLNG (Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas) pipeline.

“I would say this is probably the most significant opportunity we’ve had,” Walker said before leaving on the trip. “We’ve been over on our own trade missions, but to be part of a larger trade mission … it expresses a much higher attention to Alaska in doing this.”

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, which is pursuing the pipeline project, faces a critical go/no-go decision in the next year. If AGDC does not find and secure long-term buyers for the gas that will be transported by the pipeline, the project likely will not proceed.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that the AGDC is expected to sign a deal with Sinochem, the Chinese petrochemical conglomerate. Also Wednesday, the White House said AGDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kogas, the South Korean gas corporation.

This story will be updated.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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