ANCHORAGE PIPELINE MAY COST $175 MILLION

ANCHORAGE PIPELINE MAY COST $175 MILLION

The Mapco Inc. subsidiary planning to build a refined-fuel pipeline from the North Pole to Anchorage says the project could cost $150 million to $175 million.

Denali Pipeline Co. hopes to begin construction in late 1995 or early 1996 and begin transporting petroleum products by mid-1997, said Vivian Hamilton, a spokeswoman."The first look by engineers was $150 million," Ms. Hamilton said. "But with inflation and final design work, it could be about $150 million to $175 million."

Denali Pipeline needs a pipeline lease from the state Department of Natural Resources, among other approvals. It applied for the lease July 29.

Jerry Brossia, state pipeline coordinator, said Denali's application process should take about a year-and-a-half.

The 350-mile pipeline would lie three to five feet underground and parallel to the Parks Highway, the Alaska Railroad and power lines. The pipe would be 14 to 16 inches in diameter.

Building on permafrost will be a major concern, as will river crossings and socioeconomic impacts, Mr. Brossia said.

The yearlong construction would employ about 700 people, Ms. Hamilton said. After completion, about 25 people would operate the pipeline, she said.

It would carry petroleum products from a Mapco Alaska Petroleum Inc. refinery in North Pole to the Port of Anchorage. Denali said the pipeline also eventually could carry products from North Pole' other refinery, owned by Petro Star Inc.

That refinery currently sells its product only in interior Alaska. Walt

Schlotfeldt, president of Petro Star, said the company has no plans to begin shipping fuel to Anchorage.

"We're interested in learning more about the pipeline," Mr. Schlotfeldt said. "But we haven't talked to anyone about it yet."

The pipeline would take away one of Alaska Railroad's biggest customers. Mapco's refinery accounted for about 35 percent or $15 million of the railroad's freight revenue in 1992.