A Rail Line to Alaska
January 03, 2013
Promoter G Seven Generations Ltd. is pitching an $8.6 B rail line from Ft.McMurray, Alberta to Delta Junction, Alaska. The rail line would carry bitumen from Alberta to access the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS), for export via tidewater at Valdez.
The estimated 2,400-kilometre-long railway would run to Delta Junction, approximately 130 kilometres southeast of Fairbanks. The Financial Post notes that a single track would cost $8.4-billion and carry 1.5 million barrels per day.
G7G has requested the Alberta government chip in $10 M toward the $40 M cost of a feasibility study.
The key advantages of the G7G proposal would include:
- “The greatest strength of our Alberta-Alaska railway concept is the support it has received from First Nations along the route,” points out G7G Partner and CEO Matt Vickers. According to Vickers aboriginal groups along the route have given preliminary approval.
- A key advantage of G7G’s rail link is that it would utilize the existing TAPS line south to the marine terminal in Valdez, which is facing a declining supply of oil from Alaska’s North Slope.
- The regulatory approval process for constructing a railway would be less onerous than a pipeline.
- Alberta bitumen producers are losing $2.5 B per month from their inability to achieve the best market price (ie. export to Asia).
- Avoids shipping bitumen out of BC. The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project has drawn the ire of various First Nations, communities, environmental groups and the NDP opposition (who are ahead in the polls).
- G7G has strong support from Alaska, including from the Governor.
G Seven Generations Ltd. is a private corporation.
The video (source c) is of Matt Vickers the CEO of G7G. Very eloquent individual.
The timing may be fortuitous for G7G if Northern Gateway goes down. The large amount of forgone revenues from not having adequate export channels for bitumen is a tailwind for this project. Higher oil prices would also help project economics.
The price tag quoted by G7G seems low. That’s what the feasibility study will flesh out.