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Dominion Cove Point On Track to Be First U.S. East Coast LNG Exporter

The Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project is about 84% complete, according to the company, which this week asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to introduce fuel gas at the plant, a signal that commissioning is coming later this year.

According to a March update on the project’s website, the liquefaction facilities are expected to be online late this year at the site of the original Cove Point LNG import terminal in Calvert County, MD. Once the export project is complete, the facility would be bidirectional, offering import and export capability.

The export facility is expected to source natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and have capacity to handle 750 MMcf/d, according to a Morningstar research note published Wednesday.

Cove Point would be the first LNG export facility on the U.S. East Coast and only the second in the Lower 48 states behind Cheniere Energy Partners’ Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana.

The liquefaction project’s marketed capacity is fully subscribed under 20-year service agreements. Pacific Summit Energy LLC, a U.S. affiliate of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.; and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a U.S. affiliate of GAIL (India) Ltd., each have contracted for half of the marketed capacity. Sumitomo has said it has agreements to serve Tokyo Gas Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc.

Meanwhile, on Monday Cheniere said the 100th LNG cargo left its Sabine Pass terminal last Saturday. Since the terminal’s first shipment on Feb. 24, 2016, Cheniere has delivered cargos to 18 countries on five continents.

In addition to three fully-operational LNG trains, Sabine Pass’ fourth train has entered the commissioning process and is expected to be substantially completed in the second half of 2017. Train five is under construction and expected to become operational in 2019, and train six is fully permitted and being commercialized.

Cheniere has two trains under construction at its liquefaction project near Corpus Christi, TX, with operations at both trains expected to begin in 2019.

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