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Proposed Port.

The state of Alaska and Cook Inlet Region Inc. signed an agreement, or letter of intent, that could be the first step in establishing a deep-water port at Fire Island. It lays the groundwork for the state to acquire the property on the island, which is directly west of Anchorage International Airport, for a total purchase price of $6 million.

The deal calls for the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority to put a $1 million down payment by Nov. 3 for 1,200 acres at $5,000 per acre. CIRI would keep the remaining 3,200 acres for private development. Engineering firm CH2M Hill confirmed that it was picked by AIDEA for a $100,000, 45-day study to determine if the state should make the down payment.

The state then has two years to complete economic feasibility studies and market analyses and to pay the remainder of the purchase price. In the event that the state does not complete payment, it would retain 200 acres adjacent to the port site but forfeit the $1 million. CIRI would reacquire the remaining 1,000 acres.

Tommy Heinrich, project manager for AIDEA, says, "This is basically a marketing and feasibility analysis study. We want to see if the market is there." He says the studies will include a constructability analysis, reports from the Army Corps of Engineers and preliminary designs for the causeway. Heinrich calls an estimated price of $250 million for the port "a good order-of-magnitude figure."

Port backers say potential commercial uses for the port include container and break bulk operations, fish processing and cold storage, construction of modules for oil development, vessel supply and repair, and docking of tour ships.
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Title Annotation:Marine Transport; Port of Fire Island
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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