First it was due late in 2015, then late 2015 or early 2016 and now it’s late 2016.

The delivery date for first gas off the North Slope has slipped a year between Gov. Sean Parnell’s 2012 announcement of a plan to truck gas to Fairbanks and an update presentation in Fairbanks last week.

That target is now in summer or late 2016, according to a presentation assembled by third-party project manager MWH Global Inc., which is handling the construction of a North Slope natural gas plant. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, one of the state agencies charged with handling the project, explained that the change is largely due to the readiness of local utilities to beef up distribution — you need customers to buy your gas.

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