The Port of Anchorage - page 9

Business View Magazine
as a Strategic Seaport.”
Like much of America, the POA experienced a downturn
in fortunes when the housing bubble burst in 2008, and
the national economy went sour. “We saw a 4.1, 4.2 mil-
lion tons a year volume go down to about 3.6, 3.7, and it’s
slowly been creeping back since then,” Ribuffo reports.
“But it hasn’t quite recovered to what it was in 2007. So
in that respect, we’re in lockstep with what’s going on
down in the Lower 48. But, for our market, there’s been
modest growth of a percent or so a year in revenues. This
year is going to be a particularly good year for us.”
When asked about the POA’s long-term strategy, Ribuffo
says the following: “From a business perspective, I would
like to see our revenue streams sustained and for us to
grow a little bit. There’s opportunity in big, statewide,
capital development projects for us to able to support,
and generate a little additional revenue above what is
the normal business. Alaska’s got its eye on a liquefied
natural gas (LNG) pipeline construction project which is
going to mean a lot of material is going to be moving into
the state over about a five year period of time. They’re
going to need every marine facility available to be able to
keep on their scheduled timeline, and we certainly don’t
want to be left out of that equation, because we’re not
paying attention to what we could make available to the
planners for that, now. I would like to see the Port factor
prominently into those plans.”
Five decades ago, the Port of Anchorage played little
brother to several other, larger maritime ports in Alaska.
Today, it is the biggest player in the state. Would this trans-
formation have happened if the Great Quake of ’64 had
not occurred? While it’s hard to second-guess history,
what is evidently true is that, today, the POA is an essen-
tial part of the Alaskan economy. “We are an important
facility,” says Ribuffo, “and it’s going to be troublesome
for the state, should something happen to it.” Certainly,
it is hoped that another devastating earthquake is no-
where in Alaska’s future. But should one occur, it is also
hoped that the Port of Anchorage will be ready.
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