Today Gov. Bill Walker signed a non-binding agreement with Japan-based Resources Energy, Inc., which, according to a Walker press release “is an extension of Alaska’s longstanding partnership with Japan in energy markets.”
The state already has such an agreement with REI, which is working with AIDEA on the planning stages of an LNG facility in the Kenai which will send LNG to Japan. The project is expected to cost about $2.5 billion, including the gas. The company also has an eye on North Slope gas. It has an office and staff in Anchorage. The state’s agreement with REI was set to expire at the end of this month.
The major difference between this one and the last agreement is that the governor’s signature will be on this one. “That was signed by the commissioner and this was signed by the governor,” Walker said at a press conference announcing the agreement.
Already Alaska has a few natural gas-related agreements with Japan. Last year, then-DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan signed one with the government-controlled Japan Bank. And in September, then DNR Commissioner Joe Balash signed one with the government of Japan.