Qilak LNG is planning to invest $5bn in a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Alaska’s North Slope, towards the end of this decade, to meet the rising demand in Asia, reported Reuters, citing the company’s chief executive.

The LNG facility is expected to compete with the Novatek-led Yamal project in the Russian Arctic for Asian customers.

Qilak CEO and chairman Mead Treadwell told Reuters in an interview that the Alaskan project would supply LNG cargo in 14 days to customers in Asia. This would be twice as fast as LNG shipments delivered from the US Gulf Coast.

Treadwell said: “This project could open up a whole new province of supply for LNG, ammonia and hydrogen […] there are geopolitical advantages and diversifying Arctic gas supplies away from Russia is generally a well received concept.”

Currently, Yamal LNG has the capacity to liquefy 16.5 million tonnes of LNG annually. This totals approximately $1.6bn per one million tonnes, according to Reuters’ calculations.

Qilak LNG is considering LNG production at the new project at a lower cost compared with Yamal LNG.

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Qilak is expected to have an annual production rate of four million tonnes.

To attract financing for the proposed project, Qilak LNG is working with investment bank Lazard.

Treadwell said that Qilak LNG would also offer an ownership stake in the project to Alaskan entities, including indigenous investment groups.

“We are speaking to potential investors inside and outside Japan, as well as firms that can help us reduce the carbon footprint of the project,” Treadwell added.

Nana Worley and Aker Arctic Technology are anticipated to lead the LNG project’s feasibility study. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2030.

Treadwell added: “We are focusing on the northeast Asian market, there are countries beyond the north-east Asia who are considering involvement to step up their LNG purchases.

“If we stay on schedule, then the feasibility study would be done this year and with front-end engineering design in 2024.”