Maryland court sides with Dominion on Cove Point LNG exports

A Maryland circuit court rejected the Sierra Club’s argument that a 2005 agreement allowing construction of a natural gas import terminal at Cove Point does not allow using it to export LNG. Dominion Resources Inc., the terminal’s owner, said it will move forward with engineering, marketing, and regulatory review processes to build a $2.5-3.5 billion gas liquefaction plant there.

“Dominion has made considerable progress towards a project that will bring jobs and revenues to the national and local economies,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, the Richmond, Va., natural gas and electric transmission and utility company’s president, said following the Jan. 4 ruling by Maryland Circuit Court Judge James P. Salmon.

“We have received support from business, labor, government, community and environmental groups for a major construction project that would bring great benefits to many people,” Farrell continued. “We look forward to working with the Sierra Club and other involved environmental groups to continue the outstanding record of environmental cooperation at Dominion Cove Point.”

Dominion said it has received US Department of Energy permission to act as an agent for LNG exports to countries having free trade agreements with the US, and awaits DOE action on its application for countries without a US free trade agreement.

It said it also is in the pre-filing process with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in anticipation of applying for FERC approval of its plans in 2013. Dominion said it also is negotiating terminal services agreements with Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp. and other potential customers.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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