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Alaska, Japanese agencies sign cooperative agreement related to gas line project

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JUNEAU, Alaska — State and Japanese agencies have agreed to keep the lines of communication open over a proposed mega-liquefied natural gas project.

Alaska is pursuing the project with three major energy companies, TransCanada Corp. and the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. The intended market is Asia, and the nonbinding agreement signed Monday is aimed at strengthening ties with Japan.

The "memorandum of cooperation" was signed by Alaska's Natural Resources commissioner, Joe Balash, and a representative of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Balash said the agency sets Japan's energy policy and works closely with Japan's utility market.

The gas line project is in a phase of preliminary engineering and design. The companies behind it have said the project, as proposed, would be the largest of its kind ever designed and built.

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