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Dominion Cove Point LNG Files for Eastern Market Access Project at FERC

A subsidiary of Dominion Resources Inc. on Tuesday filed an application with FERC for its Eastern Market Access Project. The $147.3 million project calls for construction facilities and upgrades to existing infrastructure in Maryland and Virginia in order to provide 294,000 Dth/d of firm transport capacity to two electric utilities.

In its filing for an abbreviated application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, Dominion Cove Point LNG LP (DCP) told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that two of its customers -- Washington Gas and Mattawoman Energy LLC -- had entered into binding precedent agreements for all of the project's capacity [CP17-15].

According to DCP, natural gas from Eastern Market Access will help Washington Gas, a unit of WGL Holdings Inc. that provides gas to more than 1.1 million customers, ensure system reliability and accommodate load growth. Meanwhile, Mattawoman is planning to build a 990 MW combined-cycle gas-fired generating station in Prince Georges County, MD, at a site about seven miles from the Cove Point Pipeline.

DCP said it conducted an open season in July 2015 and in July 2016 for the project's firm transportation capacity. During the first open season, Washington Gas subscribed to 150,000 Dth/d and Mattawoman signed up for 140,000 Dth/d. In the second open season, firm transportation service was increased by an additional 4,000 Dth/d.

The filing indicated that Washington Gas and Mattawoman signed firm transportation agreements with primary terms of 20 or 25 years under DCP's existing rate schedule FTS.

The Eastern Market Access Project calls for constructing two compressor units -- with a combined 24,370 hp of compression, plus associated equipment and infrastructure -- at DCP's existing facility in Charles County, MD. DCP also plans to install one 7,000 hp electric reciprocating compression unit and associated infrastructure at its existing facility in Loudoun County, VA.

The project also calls for re-wheeling a compressor on one existing 17,400 hp electric unit at DCP's existing Pleasant Valley Compressor Station in Fairfax County, VA, and constructing two delivery taps -- one on Pipeline TL-522, the other on Pipeline TL-532 -- to serve as a new WGL interconnect in Charles County.

According to DCP, the primary receipt points for Washington Gas and Mattawoman would be at existing interconnects with Columbia Gas Transmission and Dominion Transmission in Loudoun County, and the Pleasant Valley Interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC system (Transco) in Fairfax County. The primary delivery points for Mattawoman would be at an existing interconnect in Charles County, while for Washington Gas the delivery points would be two existing interconnects -- WGL's Gardiner Road facility in Charles County, and its Patuxent facility in Calvert County, MD -- plus the new interconnection adjacent to WGL's existing Gardiner Road facility.

DCP proposed starting construction in November 2017 to meet an in-service date for the contracted firm transportation service by Sept. 1, 2018. The Dominion unit asked FERC to issue a final certificate order approving the project by September 2017.

DCP recently asked FERC to reject claims of undue discrimination leveled by BP Energy. The move was the latest in a long-running saga surrounding DCP's proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Calvert County. FERC first authorized DCP to construct the LNG export facility in September 2014.

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