Dominion wants larger Md. gas processing site

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Dominion announced Monday it was applying to the federal government to approve a massive natural gas liquefaction project expected to receive supplies from the Marcellus and Utica shales of Appalachia.

The Richmond, Va.-based energy and utility company said the natural gas liquid processing and exporting facilities will be added to its existing Dominion Cove Point LNG Terminal in Lusby, Md.

The Chesapeake Bay site will have access to natural gas and natural gas liquid supplies that include those being extracted from the Marcellus and Utica shales. The Cove Point facility can process natural gas into various products that are then exported.

"No other proposed liquefaction facility can provide the strategic value in terms of supply and location," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The Cove Point site will be one of several expected to begin receiving gas extracted from Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Several arrangements have already formed between pipeline companies to ship Appalachian gas to facilities in Texas and along the Gulf Coast.

The expansion project at Cove Point is expected to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion. The application filed Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is more than 12,000 pages, the company said.

The company said about 4,000 jobs are expected in Maryland during the construction phase, and that trickle-down effects across the natural gas industry should account for some 14,600 jobs when the facility is put in service in 2017.

Construction is expected to begin next year. Terminal service agreements at Cove Point have been signed with energy firms in Japan and India.

businessnews

Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.


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