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Alaskan Company Eyes Federal Funds For New Hydrogen Hub

Late last year, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. submitted a proposal for a new federally-funded hydrogen production hub in Alaska. The new venture is designed to develop and provide the infrastructure needed to maximize the benefits of the state’s massive natural gas resources

If the $850 million in U.S. Department of Energy funding is approved, it would be vital to supplying hydrogen to the U.S. and international markets. The financing ask comes on the heels of nearly $4 billion in private money for the project. Once online, the hub is expected to produce more than 600 tons of cleaner hydrogen daily, powering zero-emission fuel cells in vehicles and generating electricity.

Video Courtesy Alaska Gasline Development Corporation

Alaska is home to North America’s largest untapped source of natural gas: the North Slope. An estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of the resource lie under the frozen ground. However, this key component for hydrogen production must be removed from the earth and transported across the state for local consumption or converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to travel long distances. 

The proposed hub will work to move natural gas currently in the northern part of the state to points further south, where an Alaska LNG arm of the company will export it.

The resulting energy will be clean and competitively priced while creating many new high-paying jobs for residents. The hub could have a massive impact on global greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo Courtesy Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

“Natural gas is an essential fuel for the U.S. and other nations to achieve future emissions targets, first as a replacement for wide-scale coal use and eventually as a source of zero-carbon hydrogen,” said Frank Richards, Alaska Gasline Development Corp. president, in a press release. “Alaska’s unparalleled natural gas resources, our existing energy infrastructure and workforce, and our close proximity to U.S. West Coast and Asian markets with rapidly growing hydrogen demands closely align with the Department of Energy’s hydrogen hub criteria.”

“Using Alaska LNG as a springboard for launching the Alaska Hydrogen Hub will generate clean, competitively priced energy, create new jobs and position the U.S. as a reliable energy partner for our allies overseas,” Richards said.

Photo Courtesy Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

A decision on the federal funding, the seeds of which were planted in the 2021 bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its $8 billion allotment toward clean energy expansion, is expected by early 2024. In the meantime, the company will study the possibility of producing hydrogen-rich ammonia in Alaska’s Cook Inlet region, a partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp.

Given the current geopolitical and energy supply crises, the … project has the potential to bring an abundant, long-term, and clean supply of natural gas and hydrogen to Alaska and global markets that will play a critical role in meeting energy supply needs and emissions reduction goals,” said U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan. “With Alaska LNG and the Alaska Hydrogen Hub as the cornerstones of the Alaska LNG Project, Alaska has the resources and expertise to be an innovative energy provider for generations.”


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