Primarily focused on financing and developing long-term infrastructure needed for the growth and diversification of the Alaskan economy, the infrastructure division at AIDEA has many tools available to it for the development of enterprise, public-private partnerships (P3). These partnerships can be used to finance and support private business activities, which generate sufficient revenue streams to support AIDEA’s investment, and promote the creation of jobs for Alaskans.
The State of Alaska has placed a high priority on supporting new and expanded natural resource development. These projects provide significant economic development by growing and diversifying the economy, in addition to creating jobs for Alaskans. As part of its strategic planning process, AIDEA has identified several sectors that provide the greatest opportunity for growth and jobs and include natural resource extraction, fisheries, agriculture and forestry, energy, tourism, and communications to name a few.
This type of development could lead to increased value-added industrial development in Alaska. For example, rare earth elements are strategic commodities and AIDEA is working with its existing finance tools to assist the opening of such mines. However, AIDEA recognizes that developing the capability for in-state processing of minerals, such as rare earth metals, not only creates additional value but many family-wage jobs as well. The goal is to increase the vertical integration of the resource industry by integrating as many stages of the value-added production process in Alaska especially those utilizing state-of-the-art technologies.
Further, AIDEA supports the development of intermodal transportation systems, i.e. the intermix of industrial roads, rail and ports needed to bring natural resources, refined products, and goods to market. In discussions with developers, both in and outside of the state, AIDEA has learned that road and port access to development sites, and the availability of power at those sites are two critical infrastructure types needed to spur viable natural resource development.
Examples of supported projects include:
- Private use, industrial roads linking mine sites and existing transportation infrastructure.
- Energy interconnections bringing power to industrial, mining and natural resource extraction sites that are currently under-powered
- Port expansion, dredging, deepening to accommodate increased shipping from mining production
- Rail route expansion and construction
- Intermodal nodes to facilitate cargo switching
- Airport shipping and storage facilities required for cargo
In addition to enterprise infrastructure for resource development, there are opportunities to work with communities that have public needs/wants to move goods and services, and to coordinate with the military and research institutions that need access by land, sea, or air to parts of Alaska. For example, a port may have multiple uses: public needs and public wants to deliver goods to and from a community; support for military and research vessels; and support for resource development (fish, timber, oil and gas, minerals, and tourism). In this case, financing for a port development project could be structured using several scenarios, including a municipality or borough issues a bond for the public needs from the port; the military provides capital for a share of the port to be used by military vessels; and AIDEA provides financing that is backed by revenue from resource developers.
Projects that can be considered are many and varied in nature. For more information concerning infrastructure development and financing, contact Mark Davis at 907-771-3080.