Port of Alaska’s new terminal on track to be operational by late 2021

The new petroleum and cement terminal will be completed by late 2021.
The new petroleum and cement terminal will be completed by late 2021.(KTUU)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 8:22 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Friday, Municipal leaders and project leaders gave an update on the status of the new petroleum and cement terminal that is currently being built at the Port of Alaska. After a promising construction season, the timeline for the project puts the date by which the terminal will be fully operational to late 2021.

According to Port of Alaska Director Stephen Ribuffo, the hardest part is over.

“About 140 piles had to be driven, in an environment with an endangered species... In an environment when all these extra protections had to be put in place, with all the extra restrictions, we had to be careful,” he said. “Now we have a foundation to build on next year."

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson echoed Ribuffo’s expectation that a ribbon-cutting would be taking place by this time next year, putting emphasis on the project’s 75-year lifespan and the statewide shipping stability that it will provide.

“Fifty percent of the fuel and freight that comes into Alaska comes through the port and over 90% of Alaskans touch goods that come through here,” she said.

The terminal, which was priced at more than $200 million before construction began, must be completed before the work can continue on the Port of Alaska’s Modernization Program, a $1 billion dollar overhaul of the port’s aging facilities and failing infrastructure. Having the new terminal online by next year would give crews the ability to move forward without major disruptions to the continuing daily operations at the port.

Municipal Manager Bill Falsey told members of the press that he is hopeful that updated cost estimates for the entire project will be available soon. First, a consensus must be reached on the design plans for the port’s new general cargo terminal.

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