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FAIRBANKS (AP) — A utility company’s representatives are scheduled to meet with state officials to work on the terms for buying a natural gas business that will bring service to more customers in the Fairbanks area.
Interior Gas Utility Board Chairman Mike Meeks and recently appointed board member Bob Shefchik are scheduled to meet this week with Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Board Chairman Dana Pruhs and Chief Executive John Springsteen, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported .
The Interior Gas Utility seeks to purchase Pentex for $60 million from the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority using state grant money. By purchasing Pentex, the utility would acquire Fairbanks Natural Gas, the Titan LNG gas liquefaction plant and a semi-truck hauling operation to bring liquefied natural gas to Fairbanks.
An Interior Gas Utility acquisition of Pentex would reportedly reduce staff, infrastructure and supplies, which will help keep natural gas delivery costs down, the News-Miner reported.
The Interior Gas Utility Board of Directors has two work sessions and two public information meetings planned between now and its Dec. 5 board meeting. The board will vote on the Pentex purchase that day, Meeks said.
Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and Interior Gas Utility officials remain positive a deal will be reached.
However, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s Interior Energy Project Team Leader Gene Therriault said early last week that, if a deal is not reached soon, the Interior Energy Project’s $275 million funding package could be reappropriated to the state’s general fund. The possibility of losing the funding package is “a real threat,” he said.
If a deal is not reached, the Interior Gas Utility would be absorbed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.