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Alaska LNG Export Project Draws Vietnamese Support

Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) picked up more potential backing for its long-stalled liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project after PetroVietnam Gas (PVGAS) signaled its support on Sunday.

In a memorandum of understanding (MOU), AGDC and PVGAS set forth basic principles to collaborate on potential opportunities to serve LNG import projects in Vietnam and to evaluate the possibility of upstream resource investment in Alaska.

“The agreement with Vietnam fits very well with AGDC’s broader marketing program and recently announced deal with Sinopec, which leaves a portion of the Alaska LNG production capacity with AGDC for sale to regional Asian markets such as Vietnam,” said AGDC President Keith Meyer.

During President Trump’s Asia-Pacific trade mission to China last week, state-owned Sinopec Group, the Bank of China and China Investment Corp. (CIC) signed a joint development agreement to help Alaska develop the LNG export project. Additional gas-related deals in the region between Alaska, West Virginia and Gulf Coast operators could lead to potentially billions in future investments.

“Vietnam is a new entrant to the LNG industry but has the potential to be a rapidly growing customer of LNG and we look forward to participating in the growth of the Vietnamese economy by providing reliable and stable natural gas supply,” Meyer said.

The agreement with the subsidiary of state-owned PetroVietnam was signed in Hanoi. PVGAS is developing LNG receiving and regasification terminals in Vietnam to supply gas to newly built/proposed power plants and existing gas users. 

“Alaska’s market proximity and enormous resource base present an attractive opportunity for PVGAS to provide stable and secure gas supply to Vietnamese industrial users and citizens, and upstream investment opportunities for a bright long-term future,” said PVGAS CEO Duong Manh Son.

A letter of intent was also provided over the weekend to Virginia-based AES Corp. to support building an LNG terminal and a 2,250 MW combined-cycle plant in Vietnam. The projects would provide around 5% of the country’s power generation capacity, according to Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC).

"This project is in line with OPIC's initiative to promote the expansion of LNG markets in the Indo-Pacific region,” said OPIC President Ray W. Washburne. "We are excited about the opportunity to support AES and look forward to facilitating critical investment into Vietnam's energy infrastructure and supply.”

AES plans to leverage its experience and replicate its LNG businesses in Central America and the Caribbean, said Mark Green, who is president of the company’s Eurasia strategic business unit. 

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