Sunday, February 16, 2020

More Bad News for the Atlantic Pipeline

From Bacon's Rebellion, a Virginia centric blog: Huge Dominion Pipeline Project Loses Partner
The delayed Atlantic Coast Pipeline is undergoing a major change due to rising costs and legal delays – The Southern Company, based in Atlanta, is backing out of the project as an equity partner.

According to an announcement late Tuesday, Dominion Energy will acquire The Southern Company’s 5% stake in the natural gas project whose cost has risen from $5.1 billion to $8 billion thanks largely to legal challenges by environmentalists and regulatory agencies. The new ownership structure will be 53% Dominion and 47% Duke Energy, based in Charlotte.

The Southern Company will be still related to the project as an “anchor shipper,” the announcement said.

Another surprise in the announcement is that the pipeline project will buy a small Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Jacksonville, Fla. Dominion will assume ownership of it from Southern. That raises questions because for years Dominion has vigorously denied that the 600-mile-long pipeline has any link to plans to export LNG. Dominion does own an LNG export facility at Lugsby, Md. on the Chesapeake Bay that exports LNG mostly to Asian utilities.
Well, that's Lusby, MD, not Lugsby. We refer to the inhabitants as Lusbians. I never thought to inquire as to where the gas that Dominion exports goes, it's interesting that it's being dragged all the way around the globe to Asia. I rather thought it might be going some place in Europe.
Dominion Chief Tom Farrell told analysts at a conference call yesterday that Dominion has explored using LNG to power merchant ships. More ships are being equipped with LNG because it is cleaner than using traditional bunker oil. The International Maritime Organization of the United Nations has instituted new rules calling for emitting less sulfur and other polluting chemicals beginning in January.
I wouldn't think that liquid natural gas would be a particularly good ships fuel. It's substantially less energy dense than diesel at 23ish Mj/L compared to 27 ish Mj/L. Also, LNG has to be kept cold, which means substantially more structure for the fuel tanks, and a switch over would likely take a substantial modification or replacement of  existing engines. But there is a lot of it available at good prices, thanks to fracking.
According to S&P Global, The Southern Company bailed on the pipeline because of its concerns of delays and soaring costs.
The enviroweenies are winning using lawfare.

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