An affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Monday became the operator of the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Lusby, MD, as part of a $9.7 billion acquisition from Dominion Energy Inc.
The sale of the majority of the assets in the transaction announced in July were completed Monday, Richmond, VA-based Dominion management said.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy acquired 5,500 miles of interstate gas transmission pipelines and about 775 Bcf of storage, as well as a 25% stake and operating interest in Cove Point. The transaction value currently is estimated at $8 billion, comprising about $2.7 billion in cash and about $5.3 billion in debt transfer.
The planned sale of Dominion’s interests in the Questar Pipelines is expected to be completed in early 2021 after regulatory clearance. Dominion received about $1.3 billion in cash in anticipation of selling the interests and would transfer about $430 million in debt once completed.
Cove Point LNG, as it is now formally known, has export capacity of 5.25 million metric tons/year, equivalent to 670 MMcf/d of gas, and storage capacity equivalent to 14.6 Bcf. The facility, which started exporting in April 2018, initially was built in the 1970s to import LNG. It still has regasification capacity of 1.8 Bcf/d.
Cove Point’s export capacity is fully subscribed under 20-year take-or-pay deals with Pacific Summit Energy LLC, a U.S. affiliate of Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., and Gail (India) affiliate Gail Global (USA) LNG LLC. Sumitomo has agreements to serve Tokyo Gas Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc.
Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell said in July the sale would allow Dominion to focus on its state-regulated utilities.
Energy consultancy Genscape Inc. said the acquired assets would be part of a new company called Berkshire Hathaway Energy Gas Transmission and Storage, a standalone subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s Pipeline Group.
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