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Gas utility moves forward with $60M acquisition of Alaska-owned competitor

The board of Interior Gas Utility in Fairbanks, Alaska, authorized the municipal utility's $60 million acquisition of Pentex Alaska Natural Gas Co. as part of an effort to create a single gas utility that could lower costs for area residents.

The approval allowed the general manager of the Interior Gas Utility, or IGU, to execute a purchase and sales agreement and a finance agreement with the seller, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, or AIDEA. AIDEA, which acquired Pentex in 2015, is expected to vote on the deal on Dec. 7, the report said.

The deal would be in keeping with "the IGU mission ... to provide low cost, clean burning, natural gas to the most people in the Fairbanks North Star Borough as soon as possible," according to a Dec. 5 resolution. The IGU voted 5-2 to push through with the deal, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Dec. 6.

The acquisition is expected to bring the region closer to its goal of $15/Mcf of gas, according to IGU General Manager Jomo Stewart.

The IGU board also approved financing for the development of the region's planned Interior Energy project, a joint initiative between AIDEA, the Alaska Energy Authority, the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Natural Resources. The project would establish natural gas infrastructure under a non-profit public utility controlled by the state.