A cargo and cold storage facility planned for Anchorage that would offer opportunities to processors currently storing Alaska-caught seafood in Washington state got an economic boost this week from a $21 million federal grant to the Alaska Energy Authority.
Officials at AEA, who are partnered with Alaska Cargo and Cold Storage (ACCS) on the project, said the 190,000 square foot, climate controlled air cargo transfer facility is positioned to take seafood from all over the state and add value by processing before delivering product to flights serving domestic and international markets.
Alaska’s commercial fisheries annually harvest more seafood than all other states combined. In 2017 and 2018 alone annual seafood harvests of some 2.5 million tons were worth $4.7 billion after processing.
In 2018 alone Alaska shipped over 300,000 tons of food products to Washington.
AEA, a state agency whose mission is to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska, had applied for the grant to complete the $87.9 million Phase 1 of the ACCS air cargo transfer facility at Ted Stephens Anchorage International Airport.
“We are extremely pleased to have the grant announced,” said Curtis Thayer, executive director of AEA, which will administer the grant for the federal government. “We’ve been working on this for six or seven months.” Phase 1 alone is expected to provide 830 jobs and once the facility is operational, to have about 120 full time employees, he said.
AEA officials said work on the design and engineering would begin this fall, with the facility to be completed and operational by the summer of 2022. The planned Phase II is projected to include up to 525,000 square feet of quick cargo transfer and air cargo storage.
Limited availability of cold storage has made Alaska vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.
ACCS is a business partnership between McKinley Capital Management LLC in Anchorage and Chad Brownstein, founder of Rocky Mountain Resource, a Colorado based firm.