President of Dominion Energy Diane Leopold. Image Courtney of Dominion Energy.

Virginia-based Dominion Resources won approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to being construction on a liquefied natural gas export project in Cove Point, Maryland.

The Cove Point facility will cover 113 acres and include four large storage tanks and an LNG terminal. Dominion will reverse the flow of an existing import terminal at the site.

The facility will be able to export 5.75 million metric tons of LNG per year at full capacity.

Dominion estimates that the project will cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion to build.

The company said that construction costs will be covered by 20 year service agreements to ship LNG to Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and India’s Gail India.

The greenlight comes after over two years of consideration and analysis that included input from more than 140 commentators at three public meetings and over 650 comments from citizens and federal, state and local agencies, Reuters said.

“The Commission found that the proposal, as mitigated with 79 conditions found in Appendix B of today’s order, is in the public interest,” FERC said.

In May, FERC said the Cove Point facility can be safely built without negatively impacting the environment.

“We are pleased to receive this final approval that allows us to start constructing this important project that offers significant economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits,” president of Dominion Energy Diane Leopold said.

The company must still accept the order and file an implementation plan describing how it will comply with the conditions set by FERC.

Dominion hopes to complete the project in 2017.

The facility is expected to generate $40 million in annual tax revenue for Calvert County.


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