Fuel Imports For Railbelt Energy Coming

LNG imports expected by Winter 2014

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by Mike Ford

Imports of liquefied natural gas could be needed for Railbelt electrical generation by the winter of 2014. This according to Joe Griffith, General Manager of the Matanuska Electric Association.

"Fuel supply from the Cook Inlet is diminishing" Mr. Griffith told the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Monday. "Cook Inlet natural gas provides the fuel for the majority of our Railbelt electrical generation, and a new solution is needed."

Griffith urged cooperation between utilities."In the coming weeks, ARTEC (the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission and Electric Company-a cooperative effort among the Railbelt electrical utilities) will present a 10-year plan of needed electric transmission and gas-supply infrastructure improvements to out governor and Legislature for funding support."

Industry experts speculate that fuel costs for power generation could triple due to lack of needed infrastructure.

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