FERC Approves Cove Point LNG Export Project
Dominion welcomed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval to site, construct, and operate the Cove Point LNG liquefaction and export project.
"We are pleased to receive this final approval that allows us to start constructing this important project that offers significant economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits," said Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy. "This order is based on more than two years of thorough, exhaustive analysis by FERC along with numerous other federal and state agencies. It also reflects a robust public input process. Dominion is dedicated to constructing a safe, secure, environmentally compatible and reliable export facility."
Dominion must review and accept the order. Upon completion of that review, the company expects to file an implementation plan describing how it will comply with the conditions set forth in the order. Dominion expects to ask the FERC for a "Notice to Proceed" at that time and plans to begin construction when the notice is received. This process – from Dominion review through FERC's notice – is expected to take several weeks.
The construction of the export project, which is estimated to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, will create thousands of skilled construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs and an additional $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert County. Other economic benefits included millions of dollars of new revenues for Maryland and the federal government as well as a reduction in the nation's trade deficit by billions of dollars annually.
With its June 2012 pre-filing application, Dominion notified the FERC that it was planning to add export capability at its Cove Point terminal in Lusby, Md. The FERC has been researching and analyzing the proposal since then. Dominion filed its application in April 2013 and, with supplemental filings, it now totals more than 21,000 pages. In May, the FERC issued a 241-page environmental assessment of the project that showed it can be built safely and operated safely with no significant impact to the environment.
The proposed export facility will be within the 131-acre footprint of the existing LNG terminal site, which has been in Calvert County on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay for nearly 40 years. No new pipelines or storage tanks are needed at the facility.
"Cove Point has been a good neighbor to the region and to the Chesapeake Bay for almost four decades and we expect that record to continue," Leopold said. "Initially, Cove Point helped the United States overcome what was then an energy shortage. Now that our nation is developing a burgeoning surplus of natural gas, Cove Point can help send a small portion of that surplus to allied nation's looking for stable supplies of clean energy, supporting economic development and replacing coal as a fuel."
Cove Point is the fourth liquefied natural gas export project to receive approval to site, construct and operate. It is the first such project on the U.S. East Coast.
Dominion has fully subscribed the marketed capacity of the project with 20-year service agreements with ST Cove Point, LLC, a joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation, a Japanese corporation that is one of the world's leading trading companies, and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., a Japanese corporation that is the largest natural gas utility in Japan; and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a wholly owned indirect U.S. subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited, one of the largest natural gas processing and distributing companies in India.
IHI/Kiewit Cove Point, a joint venture between IHI E&C International Corporation of Houston and Kiewit Corporation of Omaha, Neb., is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the new liquefaction facilities.