U.S. Approves LNG Exports from Cove Point Terminal

John Konrad
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May 7, 2015

The Cove Point LNG Terminal has a storage capacity of 14.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Photo: Dominion

The U.S. Energy Department announced Thursday today that it given final authorization for LNG exports from the Dominion Cove Point LNG Terminal located on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland.

The authorization allows for the export of up to 770 million standard cubic feet per day of domestically produced natural gas from the terminal to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States for a period of 20 years.

The Department said that it granted the authorization after it was determined that exports from the terminal “was not inconsistent with the public interest”.

Dominion says that the Cove Point LNG Export project is estimated to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, representing one of the largest private investments ever in Maryland. The export facility will be at the site of the existing LNG import terminal, with no new pipelines or storage tanks needed.

The company has already fully subscribed the marketed capacity of the project with 20-year service agreements with companies in Japan and India.

The export facility is expected to become operational in late 2017.

Dominion estimates that the facility will generate an addition $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert County, Maryland.  The county today receives $15.7 million a year from the existing import facility.

The DOE has now approved exports to non-FTA countries from a total of nine facilities in the lower 48 states.

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