Refiner credit bill expanded to fertilizer plant

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A bill that would offer tax credits to help in-state refiners has been expanded to include the now-shuttered Agrium Inc. plant in Nikiski.

The House Rules Committee adopted an amendment extending tax credits for infrastructure improvements to hydrocarbon processing facilities. Tom Wright, an aide to House Speaker Mike Chenault, said that would include the fertilizer plant, which he said is assessing a $200-million renovation.

Agrium has said it’s evaluating the possible restart of the plant, depending on availability of reasonably priced gas.

Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash said he supported the amendment in principle, saying it’s important to grow gas-demand in the Cook Inlet basin.

He said the department would take a closer look at language in the amendment and bill at the suggestion that some wording could be tightened.

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