FERC on Friday gave the green light for Dominion Cove Point LP to proceed with the construction of expansion facilities at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Lusby, MD.

The expansion, which is scheduled for 2008, will increase the sendout capacity of the Cove Point LNG terminal on the eastern shore of Maryland to 1.8 Bcf/d from 1 Bcf/d, and will boost storage capacity to 14.6 Bcf from 7.8 Bcf. The project, which FERC approved in June, calls for the construction of two new 160,000 cubic meter single-containment LNG storage tanks [CP05-130].

The Cove Point LNG terminal currently receives about 90 LNG shipments annually, and would receive up to 200 shipments each year following the construction of the expansion.

FERC’s order on Friday, however, did not give approval for the construction of a related pipeline system, which entails 161 miles of mostly 36-inch diameter and 24-inch diameter pipeline in Maryland and Pennsylvania, as well as associated aboveground facilities in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.

The expanded terminal in Maryland would bring additional winter supplies to the Mid-Atlantic region; and the facilities in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and New York would allow additional supplies to be stored in the summer and moved to the Northeast for use during periods of peak need in the winter.

Norway’s Statoil has signed a contract for 1.05 Bcf/d of the total 1.8 Bcf/d of sendout capacity available after the 2008 expansion project. The remaining 750 MMcf/d of capacity will be owned by Shell, BP and peaking customers.

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