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Editorial Comment

The US East Coast will send out its first LNG exports in early 2018 as Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export facility in Lusby, Maryland becomes operational. The project has a nameplate capacity of 0.75 Bft3d (5.25 metric MMtpy) of LNG at its single train. The terminal’s entire output is contracted by GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC and Pacific Summit Energy LLC over a 20-yr period.

Dominion plans to achieve commercial operations in early 2018, and stated in late December that “…all major equipment has been operated and is being commissioned following a comprehensive round of thorough testing and quality assurance activities.” First LNG exports from Cove Point, originally scheduled for end-2017, are now anticipated in March or April 2018, after the company completes upgrades to two ground flare systems at the facility. The permanent upgrades to the flares will enhance the safety and reliability of the facility.

Cove Point will follow Cheniere Energy Partners’ Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, as the second new LNG export project to become operational. Cheniere began exporting LNG in the first half of 2016, kicking off a planned flurry of new LNG projects in the US.

A number of additional liquefaction trains are expected to enter service in 2018 in the US, including six of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s ten 0.3-Bft3d modular units at Elba Island in Georgia; the first of Freeport LNG’s three 0.7-Bft3d units in Freeport, Texas; and the first two 0.6-Bft3d trains at Cheniere’s terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas. GP


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The global LNG industry is becoming increasingly interconnected as grassroots export projects get off the ground. Another technology route for processing gas into fuels—GTL—is attracting renewed attention due to improving economics. Small-scale solutions for both LNG and GTL are at the forefront of new technological developments, while major projects using more conventional technologies continue to start up around the world.

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October 25, 2018 08:30 AM CDT

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