Federal regulators gave a needed environmental clearance to the proposed Cove Point LNG liquefaction project on the US Atlantic Coast.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) determined that the project, which is being spearheaded by US energy conglomerate Dominion, would not have a significant impact on the environment if the company follows mitigation measures laid out in the environmental analysis.
"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal and state agencies that reviewed our proposal are to be commended for their thorough and independent assessment," Dominion Energy president Diane Leopold said. "The 241-page report represents nearly two years of study, tens of thousands of pages of documentation and many thousands of hours of work."
The Cove Point facility will consist of two liquefaction trains with a nameplate capacity of about 5.75 million tonnes per year (mtpa) at a rate of 770 million cubic feet per day of of gas. It would be built on the site of the existing Cove Point LNG import terminal on the coast of Maryland.
"This project will be built within the existing footprint and fence line of an industrial site," Leopold said. "There is no need for additional pipelines, storage tanks or permanent piers, thus limiting its impact and making an environmental assessment appropriate."
Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas of Japan have committed to take 2.3 million tonnes per annum of liquefaction capacity, and India's Gail has committed to 2.3 million tpa of capacity
IHI and Kiewit have already completed front-end engineering and design for the liquefaction terminal, and hope to complete building by 2017, if Ferc approves the plans.
The public now has 30 days to comment on the findings in the environmental assessment, including a public meeting scheduled for the end of the month in Maryland.