Dominion secured an approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site, construct, and operate the Cove Point liquefaction project.
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 said it 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 company said in a statement.
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, Maryland. 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, which is estimated to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, 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 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, a joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Gas of Japan, and GAIL Global (USA) LNG, a wholly owned indirect U.S. subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited.
IHI/Kiewit Cove Point, a joint venture between IHI E&C International Corporation of Houston and Kiewit Corporation of Omaha, Nebraska, is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the new liquefaction facilities.
Press Release, September 30, 2014; Image: Dominion