Offers state assistance to explore options for securing gas supply
December 15, 2004
"We can't afford to have that plant shut down," said Murkowski. "It is a tough time of year for Agrium's employees to learn this news. We're committed to doing what we can to keep the plant operating- and we need the support of the community in those efforts."
The governor initiated the
teleconference after he learned today from Agrium officials that
an agreement reached between Unocal and Agrium in a long-standing
dispute will provide a gas supply to the plant only through October
2005. Agrium has indicated that the plant could be in jeopardy
of closing in November 2005 if the company cannot secure future
Alternatives the governor expects the group to address include additional natural gas exploration including on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and looking into the possibility of replacing natural gas generation with coal generation from the Healy Clean Coal facility.
"Closure of the Agrium plant would have an impact on the entire Kenai Peninsula, but especially on the cities of Kenai and Soldotna," said the governor. "I am vitally interested in doing what I can to explore all possible alternatives to keep Agrium employees and contractors on the job."
Agrium has 230 direct employees
and 50 contractors working at its Kenai facility
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