The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday authorized Dominion Cove Point LNG to build the Cove Point Liquefaction Project in Calvert County, Md, and related facilities at an existing compressor station and at metering and regulating sites in Virginia.
Today’s action came after more than two years of consideration of Dominion’s proposal during which FERC heard from more than 140 speakers at three public meetings related to the Environmental Assessment and received more than 650 comments from the public and federal, state and local agencies on the application.
The project will enable Dominion to transport up to 860,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas form existing pipeline interconnects near the west end of the Cove Point Pipeline to the Cove Point terminal for the export of up to 5.75 metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year. The Commission found that the proposal, as mitigated with 79 conditions found in Appendix B of today’s order, is in the public interest.
Dominion Cove Point proposes to complete construction of the liquefaction project so that facilities may start service in June 2017. Construction of the related Virginia facilities would begin in 2016 and would be placed in service by March 2017. The U.S. Department of Energy has approved Dominion Cove Point’s export of gas to both Free Trade Agreement and non-Free Trade Agreement countries.
FERC has approved three other LNG export projects, all in the Gulf of Mexico: the Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project, the Freeport LNG Project, and the Cameron LNG Project. Fourteen LNG export proposals are pending.
Under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act FERC authorizes the siting and construction of onshore and near-shore LNG import or export facilities. Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act authorizes FERC to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity for LNG facilities engaged in interstate natural gas transportation by pipeline. As required by the National Environmental Policy Act, FERC prepares environmental assessments or impact statements for proposed LNG facilities under its jurisdiction