Regions Central Virginia

Department of Energy approves Dominion natural gas exports

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The U.S. Department of Energy has approved plans by Richmond-based Dominion Resources for liquefied natural gas exports to non-Free Trade Agreement countries from its Dominion Cove Point facility on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

"It is good news on many fronts, including the thousands of jobs that will be created, the boost in government revenues that will result, and the support it provides to allied nations,” Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

The DOE previously approved Dominion's application to export to countries with Free Trade Agreements.

The plan has been opposed by environmental groups. “It's a bad deal all around: for public health, the environment, and America's working people,” Deb Nardone, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas Campaign, said in a statement.

Dominion's proposed facilities at Dominion Cove Point in Lusby, Md., are expected to cost $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion.

The company filed in March with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of the proposed facilities. Pending receipt of regulatory approval and permits, construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with an in-service date of 2017. According to Dominion, the capacity of the facility is fully subscribed, with signed 20-year terminal service agreements.

Dominion Cove Point’s existing infrastructure includes  connections to the pipeline grid, LNG storage capacity and an updated pier.

Construction will primarily add liquefaction capability.

The company still must get approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Maryland utility regulators.

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