LNG Trucking Project First Beneficiary of SETS Program
JUNEAU-Today, the Alaska State Legislature put the Sustainable Energy Transmission and Supply (SETS) development program to use for the first time with the passage of Senate Bill 23, the Fairbanks LNG Trucking project. Senate Bill 23 provides tools for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to put together a financing package to provide low interest loans to build an LNG facility on the North Slope and start building out a distribution system for natural gas in Fairbanks and surrounding communities.
“I am deeply committed to finding new approaches to fund much needed energy infrastructure throughout the state,” said Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage and former Chair of the Senate Energy Committee. “SB 23 is the first utilization of the SETS program we created and I look forward to seeing more projects move forward.”
Senator McGuire spearheaded the effort to create SETS by sponsoring Senate Bill 25 which passed the Legislature last year. The SETS program created a fund under AIDEA and directed the authority to use strategic financing mechanisms to fund energy infrastructure development. Under the fund, AIDEA can issue direct loans for up to one-third of the capital cost of an energy project, or create a secondary market through loan guarantees that partner with local Alaskan banks for financing.
“As we move into an era of fiscal constraint, Alaska cannot afford to spend all of our liquid assets on our infrastructure needs,” said Senator McGuire. “The SETS fund program is an innovative way to partner our public banking capacity through AIDEA with private sector capital to move forward with greatly needed energy infrastructure.”
Sen. McGuire said she supports SB 23 because, “it will not only help our friends in Fairbanks with high energy costs, and begin the build-out of new infrastructure, but it is also the first commercialization of Alaska’s North Slope Natural Gas. This is an historic day.”
Senate Bill 23 now heads to Governor Parnell for his signature.