FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Gasline Port Authority has lined up corporate sponsorship money to help pay off debt while it seeks funding for its plan to truck natural gas from the North Slope.
Port authority auditors in late 2009 identified $264,000 worth of debt, according to Merrick Peirce, treasurer of the nonprofit organization.
He said the port has lined up $150,000 in corporate sponsorship money from Mitsubishi Corp. Another $50,000 is expected from the North Slope Borough as the municipality ends its 10-year affiliation with the port authority, Peirce said.
But the $200,000 can only be used for work related to the port authority's main project, a natural gas pipeline. The port authority also is pursuing a $250 million project to truck natural gas down the haul road from the North Slope.
Peirce made known the port authority's financial situation in an e-mail to the Borough Assembly on Thursday when the assembly was meeting about the coming year's municipal budget.
Peirce said the organization owes money to its attorney, Walker and Levesque, and a consultant, Greengate LLC. The bills are related to services for both projects.
Peirce also is seeking money to pay for additional consulting services for the trucking project. He said the port authority would benefit from professional advice "from those who do not have a vested financial interest in the outcome" of the project.
"We are over paying for energy as a community," Peirce said. "Every day, we overpay by $400,000 as a community. The port authority is trying to solve that, both with the gas pipeline project and through the temporary bridge project."
He is hoping for $40,000 to $50,000 grants from each of the port authority's two remaining member municipalities.
Peirce said he plans to discuss the financial matters with the full port authority board of directors at an upcoming meeting.