Update: The MOU that was announced as part of the White House announcement appears to have been inked earlier this year and likely is not a part of the Walker’s anticipated announcement later today. Look more to the Bloomberg detail anticipating a deal between the state and China-based Sinochem.
Gov. Bill Walker’s trip to Asia in the entourage of President Donald Trump appears to have been a boon for Alaska’s hopes of developing a commercially viable natural gas project off the North Slope, and Walker is expected to announce the details of a deal to legislators tonight.
Legislators will be getting a 15-minute briefing on the announcement late Wednesday night, according to an email obtained by The Midnight Sun. According to the announcement, the briefing will be done over a secure line from Beijing so only legislators who can make it the governor’s cabinet room tonight will be able to hear the update.
The governor’s email provides no details about the content of the call, and it doesn’t specifically mention the gas line itself, but it’s the reason Walker attended the president’s trip.
According to the White House, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation has signed an agreement (a memorandum of understanding) with The Korea Gas Corp. that “establishes a cooperative framework for the development of Alaska’s natural gas infrastructure.” Another report by Bloomberg says a deal was struck between AGDC and China-based Sinochem.
Though an MOU falls well short of an agreement to buy Alaska’s natural gas or start building a pipeline, it’s a significant boost for the beleaguered project that the Legislature contemplated plundering earlier this year before being told the project had caught the Trump administration’s eye.
Turns out President Donald Trump might have deal-making acumen after all.