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Cove Point LNG

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Dominion Cove Point LNG is an LNG import terminal located on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland, south of Baltimore. It is one of the nation's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities. Cove Point's export facility is currently under construction.

Dominion, the terminal's owner, acquired Cove Point from energy infrastructure company Williams on September 5, 2002, and began receiving shipments in the summer of 2003. In 2009, Dominion finished an expansion project that increased Cove Point's storage and production capacity by nearly 80 percent.[1] Export facilities are currently under construction.

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Background

Dominion Cove Point received authorization on October 7, 2011 from the Department of Energy to enter into contracts to export liquefied natural gas. Under the authorization, Dominion is permitted to enter into multi-year contracts for up to 25 years with companies wishing to export natural gas to countries with free trade agreements. The authorization is for up to 1 billion cubic feet per day. Dominion would have to add liquefaction equipment at its Cove Point facility to convert natural gas into liquefied natural gas.[1]

The Sierra Club challenged the DOE authorization. SC and Maryland Conservation Council challenged construction of the Cove Point LNG import terminal, and SC said their 1972 settlement with then owner Columbia Gas System Inc. bound Columbia and any future terminal owners to LNG imports -- not exports -- for use of the land, and requires the approval of the environmental groups for any expansions.[2]

On Sep. 11, 2013, the DOE determined "that the opponents of the [Dominion Cove Point] Application have not demonstrated that the requested authorization will be inconsistent with the public interest and finds that the exports proposed in this Application are likely to yield net economic benefits to the United States." Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, the facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to 0.77 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day (Bcf/d) for a period of 20 years.[3]

In September 2014 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved construction of the export terminal.[4] FERC declined to examine the broader climate impact of the fracked gas that Cove Point would carry. Cove Point is expected to start shipping for export in late 2018, and could export upward of 1 billion cubic feet of LNG per day, based on its DOE authorization.[5]

The owners and operators of the Cove Point plant won another court victory in Calvert County in February 2016. The environmental group, Accokeek, Mattawoman, Piscataway Creeks Communities Council, Inc. petitioned a judicial review of the Maryland Public Service Commission’s authorization of Cove Point; however, the review affirmed earlier rulings on the matter. The Accokeek, Mattawoman, Piscataway lawyer told BayNet he would appeal [6]

Gail India has agreed to buy 2.3 million metric tons of LNG a year over the next two decades from Cove Point. The shipments are expected to begin in 2017 or 2018.[7]

Opposition

There has been active opposition to Cove Point from the permitting process of the original import facility to present-day resistance to Dominion's expansion to an export facility.

We Are Cove Point, a coalition of people and organizations working together to stop the Cove Point export terminal, was founded in 2012 and has been actively organizing since.[8]

On May 30th, 2015 about 200 people marched from Solomons Island to Cove Point LNG in opposition to the export terminal.[9]

Further, We Are Cove Point announced in February 2016 it would throw a nine-day event called “Cove Point Spring Break.” [10]

Citizen groups

Industry groups

Project Details

  • Owner: Dominion
  • Location: Lusby, Maryland, United States
  • Coordinates: 30.366324,-81.626135
  • Capacity: Import: 22.5 mtpa, 3.23 bcfd; Export: 1 bcfd expected
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Import and Export
  • Start Year: Import 2002, Export expected 2018

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dominion Cove Point LNG," Dominion Cove Point website, accessed April 2012.
  2. Ayesha Rascoe, "Sierra Club To Fight Dominion Hub Using 1972 Deal," World Environmental News, April 27, 2012.
  3. "Dominion Cove Point receives authorization to export LNG to non-free trade countries," LNG Global, Sep 11, 2013.
  4. "UPDATE 2-U.S. FERC approves Dominion's Cove Point LNG export facility," Reuters, Sep 30, 2014
  5. Elana Schor, "Cove Point ruling bodes ill for greens’ LNG fight back," Politico, 9/30/14
  6. Marty Madden, "Court rules in favor of gas plant operators," BayNet, February 21, 2016.
  7. Tim Daiss"EIA Report Sounds Somber Note For U.S. LNG" Forbes, March 7, 2016.
  8. About We Are Cove Point, Accessed 18 July 2017.
  9. Marty Madden, "When Police Harass Cove Point Protesters, Is Dominion Getting What It Paid for?," Truthout, June 8, 2015.
  10. Marty Madden, "Court rules in favor of gas plant operators," BayNet, February 21, 2016.

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