If you call 911 on the Kenai Peninsula right now, chances are that your call goes to a big building in Soldotna just down the street from Safeway. From there, the emergency call center dispatchers determine who to send to help.
Kenai, Seward and Homer handle their own dispatching, but the staff at the emergency dispatch center serve the Alaska State Troopers, CES and the Soldotna Police Department, among other services, which covers a big chunk of the central peninsula. Last year, the center processed more than 24,000 calls.
Seven new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed on the Kenai Peninsula yesterday.
That’s the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began. Two are in Homer, one in Kenai, one in Nikiski, and three in smaller communities in the borough. According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the sources of infection for all seven cases are still under investigation. Statewide, 13 new cases were diagnosed yesterday, with one in Juneau, four in Anchorage and one in the North Slope Borough. Seven of the new cases are men and six are women.
Since the state announced Nikiski as the chosen site for its liquefied natural gas plant project about six years ago, Kenai Peninsula residents have had an ear to the ground for developments. The project would use an 807-mile pipeline from the North Slope to deliver natural gas to a plant in Nikiski, where it would be liquefied and shipped out to international markets, all for a price tag of about $45 billion.
Since 2017, the state has been heading up the project alone through the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. The project partners, including ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil, shied away from it after a number of international LNG plants came online, pushing down prices and making Alaska’s project too expensive to be competitive. But the state has pressed on, gathering permits and information. On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the state the green light to build and operate the project.
Now it’s just a matter of how to pay for it. This is the last year the state is going to go it alone —it’s either find other sponsors or sponsors or sell the assets.