Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (June 24, 2002) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed air quality Permit to Construct application submitted for the Cove Point Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Select, 155 Holiday Drive, in Solomons.

The State of Maryland is seeking public comment on a request for an air quality Permit to Construct from The Williams Companies for the resumption of liquid natural gas import services at the Cove Point LNG facility, located at 2100 Cove Point Road in Lusby.

The Cove Point facility, which includes an offshore terminal for receiving shipments of LNG and an onshore storage site, was constructed in Calvert County in 1978 to receive imports of liquefied natural gas. The offshore facility was only in operation to receive shipments until 1980, and has remained closed. The onshore section of the plant, however, has been operating as a natural gas storage site since 1995 when the process to convert natural gas into LNG was added.

The Williams Companies purchased the 800-acre site — one of four LNG import facilities in the United States — a few years ago.

It is proposed that the Cove Point storage site will receive liquid natural gas from ships exporting it from Trinidad through a pipeline and store it in tanks. When natural gas demand is at its highest, the LNG is converted back into natural gas and returned to the pipeline.

The proposed air quality Permit to Construct application has been submitted to allow The Williams Companies to make improvements to the plant to reduce emission of nitrogen oxides. The improvements will also allow the facility save more of the product from escaping due to evaporation.

For more information on the project at the Cove Point LNG terminal in Lusby, please contact Robert Maddox at (410) 631-3265 or Reider White at (410) 631-3262.