CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. has exited an Alaska liquefied natural gas project, with the state buying out the company's interest for US$64.6 million.
In a special session earlier this month, the state legislature approved funding to take on a bigger stake in the project and, on Wednesday, Gov. Bill Walker announced the acquisition was now complete.
A deal with the Alaska government in 2014 gave the state the right to buy out TransCanada's stake.
Initial estimates for the project, which would pipe North Slope gas to a liquefaction plant and export terminal southwest of Anchorage, put the cost as high as US$65 billion.
TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper says the company has been committed to the development of Alaska natural gas for decades and has made considerable contributions to the LNG project over the past few years.
The company will continue to watch its progress closely, even though its role has concluded, he added.
Walker called it a "historic day."
"By gaining an equal seat at the negotiating table, we are taking control of our destiny and making significant progress in our effort to deliver Alaska gas to the global market," he said in a news release.
Alaska is pursuing the project with BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. There is no guarantee that it will be built, though many see it as key to Alaska's financial future.
The partners are expected to vote Dec. 4 on a work plan and budget for 2016. By that date, Walker is also hoping to receive assurances from the partners that they would not be able to block the project from advancing if they withdrew.
— With files from The Associated Press