First LNG Cargo Sets Sail from Maryland’s Cove Point Export Terminal

lng tanker gemmata
Photo: Paul Nilsen/MarineTraffic.com

The first cargo of liquefied natural gas has set sail from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG export terminal in Maryland, where the newly constructed liquefaction facility is undergoing final commissioning.

The commissioning cargo of natural gas left the Cove Point facility on the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday, March 1, according to Dominion Energy. The cargo was loaded onboard the LNG tanker, Gemmata. 

Shell NA LNG is providing the natural gas needed for liquefaction during the commissioning process. Once commissioning is complete, the Cover Point terminal will produce LNG for ST Cove Point, which is the joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Gas, and for Gail Global (USA) LNG, the U.S. affiliate of GAIL (India) LTD, under 20-year contracts.

All major equipment has been operated and is being commissioned as expected following a comprehensive round of testing and quality assurance activities, according to Dominion Energy. 

The Cove Point liquefaction facility is designed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has a nameplate capacity of 5.25 million tonnes per year of LNG (mtpa), equivalent to approximately 8.3 million gallons of LNG per day.

The Cove Point terminal is now the second LNG export terminal in the contiguous United States to export natural gas. The first terminal, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, began exporting in February 2016 and has transformed the United States into a global gas supplier. 

Construction of the Cove Point liquefaction facility began in October 2014 after more than three years of federal, state and local permit reviews and approvals. Dominion says that with a cost of approximately $4 billion, the Cove Point facility is the largest construction project ever for Maryland and for the company. Construction has involved more than 10,000 craft workers and a payroll of more than $565 million.

The 72,727 dwt LNG carrier Gemmata was built in 2004 and is flagged in Singapore.