Energy developer Qilak has revealed plans to invest $5bn in an Alaskan LNG plant with the aim of competing with Russia for the Asian liquefied gas market.
The company, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Lloyds Energy, was set up to build and operate LNG projects in the North American Arctic.
According to the company, the North Slope project will capitalise on recent developments in Arctic LNG technology that allows natural gas to be directly exported, avoiding the cost of long-distance pipelines.
The facilities developed in the first phase of the scheme will be able to export 4 million tonnes a year, with additional capacity to come in future phases.
The company is hoping to take advantage of the fallout from the war between Russia and Ukraine. This has dissuaded energy importers such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan from buying Russian LNG from its $27bn plant on the Yamal peninsula in northern Siberia.
Mead Treadwell, the chief executive of Qilak, told the Reuters news agency that the project could “open up a whole new province of supply for LNG, ammonia and hydrogen. There are geopolitical advantages and diversifying Arctic gas supplies away from Russia is generally a well-received concept.”
Qilak has yet to tender for its construction team, but US consultant Nana Worley and Finnish consulting engineer Aker Arctic Technology are expected to lead the feasibility study.
Treadwell told Reuters: “If we stay on schedule then the feasibility study would be done this year and with front-end engineering design in 2024.”
The project plans to use gravity-base structures set off the Arctic shore of Alaska and plans on delivering three-to-five tankers a month to customers in north-east Asia.