Inside Alaska Business
Residential Mortgage
Anchorage-based real estate firm Residential Mortgage is extending its reach into Arizona and Colorado. The company hired loan originators Ron and Brooke Schlachter in Phoenix and Sheila Kennelley in Denver. The two new branches add to the eleven throughout Alaska for the Northrim Bank subsidiary.
Aleutian Airways
A new regional airline expands travel options for Unalaska. Aleutian Airways began service in November with two flights each weekday from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor and back. The new competitor cuts the fare for a one-way ticket from $1,000 to $659, while round-trip tickets cost just under $1,000, comparable to Ravn Alaska’s service to Unalaska.
Bethel Native Corporation | GCI
A pair of federal grants pay for Bethel Native Corporation (BNC) and GCI to bring broadband internet to more than 10,000 customers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The two projects combined are called the Airraq Network (pronounced EYE-huck), after the traditional Yup’ik game similar to cat’s cradle, which translates as “string that tells the story.” A $42.4 million grant lets BNC connect to a planned Nushagak Electric & Telephone Cooperative long-haul fiber and run 405 miles underwater from Dillingham to Kuskokwim Bay, then overland upriver to Bethel, connecting four villages along the way. GCI has $31 million to construct long-haul fiber in five other communities. |
Doyon, Limited
Visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve could skip trains or automobiles and arrive on planes at an airport in Healy that Doyon, Limited wants to build. The Fairbanks-based Native corporation is joining the Denali Borough’s efforts to build a jetliner-capable airport. One site on state land is a 20-minute drive from the park entrance. Doyon would build the terminal, estimated at $18 million, while the state would build the runway, likely with some federal funds, for an estimated $50 million. Doyon aims to have jets landing at Denali in 2028.
BlueCrest Energy
After three years without drilling in Cook Inlet, BlueCrest Energy plans to restart in 2023. The company submitted a plan with state regulators for its H10 Trident Fishbone in the Cosmopolitan unit, offshore from Anchor Point. The well would start on dry land and reach underneath the seabed, forking three ways with eight wells on each branch curving up into the oil reservoir, for twenty-four wells from one surface bore. The drilling program depends on BlueCrest securing investment funds. BlueCrest has spent the last three years upgrading its existing production and processing equipment.
Far North Digital
The company that built fiber optic cable from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay is setting its sights far to the east and west. Far North Digital, an Anchorage company co-founded by former legislator and mayor Ethan Berkowitz, is forming a consortium with Cinia of Finland and ARTERIA Networks Corporation of Japan to build a trans-Arctic cable. The joint development corporation, Far North Fiber, anticipates completing more than 10,000 miles of cable connecting Europe to Asia by the end of 2026. Alcatel Submarine Networks has been selected to install the cable.
AGDC | Hilcorp
The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) and Hilcorp Alaska signed a memorandum of understanding with two Japanese firms to assess carbon sequestration and ammonia energy in Southcentral. AGDC has been touting the decarbonization potential of a liquified natural gas pipeline to a terminal in Nikiski next to an idled ammonia factory, and the agreement with Mitsubishi and TOYO Engineering is a step toward defining that potential more exactly. AGDC is even promoting the gas treatment plant to be built on the North Slope at the head of the pipeline as “the largest carbon capture plant in the world.” |