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Plant’s liquefaction project on schedule


An artist's rendering of what Dominion Cove Point will look like when the ongoing liquefaction project is completed.

Lusby, MD - The massive $3.8 billion project aimed at making a Southern Maryland natural gas plant a major player in product export is rolling toward completion, utility officials reported. According to its periodic newsletter, Cove Point Connection, Dominion Cove Point reported, “the overall project—engineering, procurement and construction—stands at about 84 percent complete and remains on schedule to wrap up later this year. All of the major equipment has been set in place and now the focus is on completing the installation of piping, cable trays, cables and cable terminations. The liquefaction project construction workforce has reached its estimated peak with more than 3,200 craft workers and subcontractors on site. The staffing level is expected to begin decreasing in the second quarter of this year.”

The project at Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant began in late 2014 and remains on schedule to wrap up later this year.

Dominion officials also reported that one of the five tower cranes used for the onsite transfer of equipment will be taken down this month. The crane will be disassembled and removed. According to the newsletter, there are plans for that same crane to be used in the construction of a stadium being built as the home of the Los Angeles Rams.

Additionally, Dominion reports piping systems tests are ongoing at the facility. The tests will occasionally produce noise and emit plumes of steam. To handle the expanded plant Dominion has hired additional staff. Company officials stated, “at this time 78 of the total 99 new positions have been filled, bringing us experienced people from 22 U.S. states, two U.S. territories and 11 different countries.”   

The Cove Point Liquefaction project has been controversial since first being proposed over five years ago. It has been the subject several demonstrations locally, as well as in Annapolis and Washington, DC. The project and its components have also prompted litigation. Lately, many project foes have focused on persuading Maryland lawmakers to approve a permanent ban on fracking, a hydraulic drilling process used to extract natural gas from shale. The proposed ban gained the approval of the Maryland House of Delegates. The ban would still need to find favor in the State Senate and then the signature of Governor Larry Hogan to take effect.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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