Delaware River Basin commission confirms plan to build LNG export terminal at new South Jersey port

  • Jon Hurdle

Dominion Resources

This 2010 file photo shows Dominion Resources Cove Point terminal in Maryland. It is has been converted from a gas import facility to an export terminal to ship Marcellus Shale gas to Japan and India.

The Delaware River Basin Commission acknowledged on Tuesday that an energy company plans to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other liquids through a new export terminal on the Delaware River in South Jersey, updating its earlier statement that LNG was not part of the company’s permit application.

Environmental activists have accused the DRBC and other regulators of concealing plans by the developer, Delaware River Partners, to add an LNG terminal to a new port that it plans to build on a former DuPont site in Gibbstown, Gloucester County.

The DRBC previously said the company did not seek a permit for the LNG terminal in its application but on Tuesday said it “recently” learned of the plan.

David Kovach, the agency’s head of permitting, verbally included LNG in a list of proposed uses at a DRBC meeting on June 6, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

“During his description of the draft docket, Mr. Kovach said that the applicant recently informed us that Dock 2 will support the transloading of a variety of bulk liquid products, including butane, isobutane, propane (collectively liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and ethane,” the statement said.

LNG would be shipped to the Gibbstown port via truck from a new liquefaction plant being built in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, amid the abundant natural gas supplies of the Marcellus Shale, according to a Securities and Exchange filing by the plant’s developer, New Fortress Energy. The plant, costing an estimated $750-$850 million, would have a capacity of 3.6 million gallons a day and could serve markets in the Northeast by truck, the company said in a statement.

New link to world markets

The liquefaction operation is designed to take rich reserves of “stranded” gas — which currently has no market outlet because of a shortage of pipelines — and link it to world markets via the new port complex.

There will be no bulk storage of LNG at the Gibbstown port and no manufacture of any liquids there, the DRBC said.

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