Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions


Mitsubishi Proposes Expanded Memorandum
of Understanding to Include All Routes


October 10, 2003
Friday - 12:45 am

Tokyo, Japan - Governor Frank Murkowski met this week with Mitsubishi Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Mikio Sasaki to discuss a wide range of energy- related topics including Japan's long-term liquefied natural gas needs.

Discussions included a review of the Memorandum of Understanding currently under consideration between Mitsubishi Corporation and the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority Board. In the meeting, Murkowski expressed appreciation for Mitsubishi's continued interest in Alaskan natural gas development issues and discussed in significant

Governor Frank H. Murkowski discusses gas pipeline routes on a map of Alaska with Mitsubishi Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Mikio Sasaki, far left, and members of his staff in Tokyo.
Photo by Mia Costello of the Governor's staff.
detail the various aspects of the project. The two acknowledged that the contemplated MOU covered a gas line from Prudhoe Bay to tidewater in Valdez. Murkowski and President Sasaki agreed that the MOU should be expanded to include consideration of a spur line from Fairbanks down the railroad right-of-way through the Matanuska Valley and Anchorage and on to the Kenai Peninsula.

With dwindling gas reserves and the 2009 expiration of Japan's LNG contract from the Nikiski LNG facility, the Governor said it is vitally important that we explore all possible sources of new gas supplies. With a dependable long-term reserve base, existing contracts can be extended well into the future. Additional natural gas supplies will also allow the Agrium ammonia plant to continue operating at current or even expanded rates.

Sasaki expressed support for the additional natural gas supplies for the Cook Inlet and Kenai regions and agreed to expand discussions with the ANGDA Board to include the broader proposal. Murkowski expressed his appreciation of Mitsubishi's action and indicated that he would formally transmit his request for the MOU modifications to the ANGDA Board for its immediate consideration.

"In order to protect both Alaskans and Mitsubishi shareholders, I believe it is vitally important to look at every aspect of the contemplated LNG project," Murkowski said. "With the worldwide business expertise in LNG that Mitsubishi brings to the table, I believe significant strides can be made in understanding the complexity of the project and the competitive market for LNG in Asia."

Murkowski also said that issues such as shipping Alaskan gas to both United States and foreign ports; the influence of the competing gas reserves in the Middle East, Asia, and Russia, which already have existing delivery infrastructure; and consumer demand in the Pacific Rim all need to be clearly understood.

Sasaki and Murkowski agreed that the proposed expanded MOU would not be exclusive but would examine all aspects of various route proposals and their respective economics.

In addition to discussions with Mitsubishi, Murkowski met with representatives from Japan's leading fishing, mining, tourism, and natural gas consumer companies. Detailed discussions were held with MS Zinc, a processor of ore concentrates from Alaska's Red Dog and Green's Creek mines; Tokyo Gas and Electric, end user of liquefied natural gas shipped from the Kenai; and Mitsui & Company, Japan's leading importer of natural gas. Meetings also occurred with seafood marketers and distributors and representatives from Japan's timber consumer companies.

Murkowski and members of his trade mission discussed Japan's current and long-term needs in the energy, fishing, and timber markets.

"It's important that we Alaskans have the very best information and understanding possible of Japan's economy and long-term consumer demands as we work toward the further development of our state's fishing, mining, tourism, and energy resources," Murkowski said.

Accompanying the Governor in his numerous meetings with Asian business leaders are representatives from Alaska's private sector, including Bob Thorstenson, President of the United Fishermen of Alaska, and Chris von Imhof, General Manager of Alyeska Resort. Alan Austerman, the Governor's Fisheries Policy Advisor; Mike Menge, Special Assistant for Natural Resources; and Margy Johnson, Trade and Economic Development Division Director are also in attendance.



Source of News Release & Photograph:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


E-mail Editor:
Post a Comment
-------View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska