June 28, 2018 / 10:53 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Alaska LNG preparing equity offering, open to joint venture

(Adds background, financial advisors)

By Julie Gordon

WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - Alaska Gasline Development Corp (AGDC) is preparing an equity offering for this summer and is open to partnering with a major energy firm on the development of its costly Alaska LNG export terminal and pipeline project, an executive said on Thursday.

"We're going to be putting forward an equity offering that we will hopefully take out onto the street this summer, to try and attract equity dollars," AGDC Senior Vice President Frank Richards told Reuters at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Now if there are international oil companies that have a desire to participate in the project, we will be glad to talk to them," he added.

The $43 billion development, one of the most expensive U.S.-based LNG projects, is being reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, with a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) expected in March 2019, followed by a final EIS in December 2019.

If approved, the 20 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) export project could be operating as soon as the end of 2024, Richards told Reuters at the triennial gathering of global gas players.

Owned entirely by the cash-poor state of Alaska, the project has signed preliminary deals with a number of Chinese players, including a development pledge with Sinopec, China Investment Corp and the Bank of China that could amount to up to 75 percent of its offtake.

The Alaska LNG development includes an 800-mile (1,287 km) pipeline from the North Slope to south central Alaska, where gas will be distributed for in-state use and to a liquefaction plant to produce LNG for export.

Most of the gas from Alaska LNG is expected to go to China, with Sinopec also helping with the marketing, although AGDC also has preliminary deals with other firms.

AGDC, which hopes to revive Alaska's dwindling energy sector, is working with Goldman Sachs and the Bank of China to put together the equity package. (Reporting by Julie Gordon in Washington, D.C. Editing by Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft)

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