ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The production of petroleum asphalt at Alaska refineries is up sharply this summer to keep pace with road construction and maintenance projects.
''It's a record year for demand,'' said Jeff Cook, vice president of external affairs for Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc.
The company, which has a refinery at North Pole, expects to double its asphalt production this summer to about 57,000 tons, or about 325,000 42-gallon barrels, Cook said. He said the demand for asphalt oil, used to bond aggregates for paving, has been tremendous.
Dennis Poshard, a state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesman in Juneau, said more than $300 million in road construction and maintenance projects are slated this summer.
Greg Henderson, business manager for Tesoro Alaska Co., said asphalt production at its refinery near Kenai typically runs 40,000 to 50,000 tons annually.
Henderson said this year production will be higher, but exactly how much was unclear.
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