By: Steve Sutherlin
The Port of Alaska has garnered a $25 million grant from the federal “Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program,” to build the third and final phase of an upgrade to its petroleum products and cement handling facilities, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said Nov. 12.
The cost of the project is $81 million, based on current engineering projections, said Jim Jager, director of external affairs for the port. The port has yet to see any contractor bids on the project.
Despite a $25 million cash infusion, the port will not reduce initial tariffs under a 10-year, escalating user fee schedule adopted by the Port Commission, he said.
Reductions of the rates would be more likely once the total costs of the project - including financing - are known, Jager said, adding that the port’s overall cost estimate has already factored in some degree of success in attracting grants, as well as an anticipation of favorable financing terms.
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