LNG rail shipments to begin demonstrations

The Alaska Railroad will be the first to transport liquefied natural gas by rail in the United States. The Alaska Railroad Corporation was granted permission by the Federal Railroad Administration to move LNG last year and testing is slated to start next week.

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Alaska Railroad spokesman Tim Sullivan said “the corporation plans to begin demonstration shipments September 27th and that LNG containers are on loan to the railroad for testing.”

Sullivan said “Eight runs are planned over 4 weeks to assess the potential”.

The LNG will come form a the Cook Inlet Point MacKenzie processing plant and delivered to Fairbanks Natural Gas. FNG and the North Star Borough’s Interior Gas Utility are part of the state’s Interior Energy Project, and IGU project manager David Prusak said he’s optimistic about rail transport.

Pruzak said “affordable transportation is one of the keys to meeting the primary goal of the Interior Energy project.”

That’s the equivalent of 2 dollar a gallon heating oil for Fairbanks area customers.