Celebrating the Groundbreaking for Liquefaction Project at Dominion Cove Point
Dominion Cove Point held their symbolic groundbreaking for the liquefaction project on March 25, which happens to be Maryland Day. Maryland Day commemorates March 25, 1634. On that day, settlers disembarked from two small sailing ships – the Ark and the Dove – on to Maryland soil.
On hand for the groundbreaking were Governor Larry Hogan, the Honorable Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States, Thomas H Farrell II, Chairman, President and CEO of Dominion, Diane Leopold, President of Dominion Energy, Kazuhiro Takeuchi, President and CEO for the Americas, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, a representative of Gail (India) Limited, Brent Booker, Secretary- Treasurer, North America’s Building Trades Unions, President of the Calvert Board of County Commissioners Steve Weems and Mike Frederick, Vice President of LNG Operations. In the audience were a number of distinguished citizens of Calvert, including past and present members of the Calvert Board of County Commissioners.
Sitting in a large windowed tent, just outside the construction area, those in the audience were privy to seeing the construction trucks rumbling back and forth, and as Diane Leopold said, “We are hard at work today, getting the project done”.
Thomas Farrell, taking the podium, spoke on the importance of the project. “Cove Point will supply critical American allies in India and Japan with much-needed natural gas that will help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Farrell. “Although the doubters said it could not be done, in late 2017 our liquefier will be online, and ships will begin receiving LNG for export.”
The Honorable Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States told the audience “We want energy, we need it”, and then explained that 50 percent of his nation’s fuel is imported. “This Dominion Cove Point will help Japan.” The ambassador called the liquefaction project “a foundation” to a partnership forged between Japan and the State of Maryland.
Governor Larry Hogan remarked, “Today I had the pleasure of participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for Cove Point! This is one of the most important economic development projects in Maryland”.
Cove Point is part of what has been called America’s ‘natural gas revolution;’ it has the potential to increase state exports by $5 billion per year, will support over 3000 jobs during construction as well as 175 skilled jobs when it is complete, and will provide an additional $40 million in tax revenue for Calvert County.”
Each of the dignitaries spoke on the economic impact it would make to the county, state, and federal government, during construction and when it finally begins operations. Gifts were exchanged between the Japanese delegation and Dominion Cove Point, cementing the friendship. One of the gifts from the Japanese delegation was a Daruma doll. They are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. The oversized symmetrical round head with “blank white eyes” is used as a means to keep track of goals or big tasks and motivate them to work to the finish. The recipient of the doll fills in one eye upon setting the goal, then the other upon fulfilling it. In this way, every time they see the one-eyed Daruma, they recall the goal.
After the speeches, everyone was invited outside to watch the dignitaries use shovels to symbolically break ground for the project. A bountiful buffet luncheon was served to all in attendance.
Please check out the video from yesterday at https://youtu.be/Q89-cnfVzB4.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon