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nol—now comes through the port with the addition of Delta Western as a new tenant at the port facility. As the population of Anchorage (and Alaska along the Railbelt) continues to inch up, general consumer cargo deliveries at the port increase proportionately. Ribuffo says, “2015 was a big year for the port, with overall increases in activity in the deliveries of general cargo, petroleum products, and cement totaling about thirteen to fifteen percent.” Petroleum products led the increase. “The closure of Flint Hills refinery has meant an increase in shipments of fuel across the dock,” he says. Delta Western is also set to keep that volume up by bringing in methanol—used by North Slope rigs. Overall petroleum product volumes—jet fuel, unleaded gasoline, Avgas, heating oil, and low sulphur diesel—increased by 30 percent over 2014. Fuel comes to the port via tankers and fuel barges where it is distributed through pipelines—to the airport and the military installation at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson—and by truck to other Southcentral communities. Some of it is stored for seasonal barge shipments to other Alaska ports, harbors, and docks. Cargo containers delivered nearly 2 million tons of consumer commodities—food, clothing, construction materials, vehicles, etc.—in 2014. “One of our stakeholders, Alaska Basic Industries, has tripled their storage capacity,” says Ribuffo, referring to the basic building material that accounts for a few of the percentage points in the port’s increased activity for 2015. Ribuffo says he anticipates “no new hot trends in 2016, but business will remain steady.” Cruise ship traffic will stay the same at nine port calls from the Holland America line MAASDAM. “We’ll be having our first overnighter in August which should be interesting.” Generally, the behemoth cruise ships are only in port a few hours, but this voyage has been chartered by a company that plans to stage excursions out of the port on this one summer cruise. The port continues its ongoing modernization project to replace dangerously aging facilities and to accommodate larger barges and vessels at the docks. The port contains about fifty-five acres for storage and staging offloaded cargo. “On Tuesdays when the TOTE container ships call at the port all of that space is filled with full containers. The next day it’s all moved out and begins filling up with empty containers from the truckers to be loaded onto the next ship,” Ribuffo explains. Across Knik Arm construction has been proceeding full steam ahead at Port Mac­ Kenzie despite the record port calls of thirty-three vessels this past summer. Building the barge dock began in 1999 and was completed in 2003, followed by the deep-draft www.akbizmag.com

A tanker at the Port of Anchorage. Courtesy of POA

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March 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly

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Alaska Business Monthly March 2016  

“Forever Alaskan” Carol Gore, president and CEO of Cook Inlet Housing Authority, is a quintessential leader in creating affordable housing f...

Alaska Business Monthly March 2016  

“Forever Alaskan” Carol Gore, president and CEO of Cook Inlet Housing Authority, is a quintessential leader in creating affordable housing f...