AF officials offer property lease opportunities

  • Published
  • By Eduardo Salinas
  • Air Force Real Property Agency Public Affairs
Air Force officials presented a proposal during two meetings held Jan. 30 and 31 to lease underutilized property at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., to support national security energy goals.

The first meeting, held Jan. 30 at the Great Falls Civic Center, gave state and local officials and community members the opportunity learn about the Air Force's potential to lease underutilized land at Malmstrom to private industry for the construction of a coal-to-liquid, or CTL, fuel plant. The proposed plant is intended to be a source of clean, domestically produced fuel which will help the nation meet President Bush's challenge to wean itself off foreign energy sources.

"We wanted to bring our proposal straight to the local community and get their input," said William C. Anderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics. "We will continue to work closely with the community as consideration of this opportunity progresses."

Mr. Anderson was among the officials on hand to answer questions from community members. Other officials addressing environmental and development concerns included Evan Barrett, chief business development officer for the state of Montana; Tom Kaiserski from the Montana Department of Commerce; and Dave Klemp from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Air Force officials from the Air Force Real Property Agency and the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment also were present to answer questions and concerns.

"I am proud of the relationship the base has with the community," said Col. Sandra Finan, the 341st Space Wing commander at Malmstrom. "The local community will play an integral part in determining the future of this opportunity."

The following day, the Air Force officials pitched their opportunity to representatives from private industry during an industry forum. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer gave introductory remarks boasting the benefits of basing a CTL plant in Montana.

"Governor Schweitzer has been a huge proponent of this opportunity and understands why it is important not only to his state but also to the nation," said Mr. Anderson.

Industry forum attendees, which included officials from private equity firms, lenders, utilities, energy developers, energy technology firms, equipment manufacturers and other interested parties, listened to presentations from Air Force and State of Montana officials and were given a tour of the base and shown the local infrastructure.

This project, along with other energy projects, is the latest to be explored through the Air Force's Enhanced Use Lease program, which builds partnerships between the military and private industry by leasing underutilized military assets to private entities for development.

This effort is part of the larger Air Force-wide energy strategy that aims to reduce demand and increase supply of energy resources as well as drive change in Air Force culture when it comes to consuming and conserving energy.

Click here for information about this opportunity including materials presented at both meetings. Click here for general information on the Air Force EUL program.