Gasification may be light at end of borough tunnel

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2005

The possibility that Agrium might close the doors to its Nikiski fertilizer production complex entirely has hung like a Sword of Damocles over municipal and service area budgets dependent on the property and sales tax revenues it and its payroll produce.

Wednesday’s announcement that the company was researching the viability of converting to a coal gasification process to secure a steady supply of natural gas has provided more than a ray of hope, said Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams.

“We are very pleased that our industry is moving ahead with new technology and finding ways to solve its problems,” he said Wednesday. “I want to ensure industry and our citizens that the administration and the assembly are standing ready to assist in any way we can.”

While the Agrium an-nouncement clearly holds promise, Williams said the borough would be moving ahead “business as usual” to take care of matters of budget under the current tight circumstances.

“But we will keep an eye to the future,” he said.

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