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Rio Grande LNG enters pre-filing process

LNG Industry,

NextDecade, LLC has received notification from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of pre-filing process acceptance for the company’s Rio Grande LNG project and associated pipeline.

The company submitted an official request to the FERC on 20 March 2015.

FERC process

Commenting on the progress, Kathleen Eisbrenner, CEO of NextDecade, said: "NextDecade is thrilled to initiate the FERC process for our Rio Grande LNG project. Not only is this an important milestone, but it also signals the beginning of a crucial process that will lead to the best possible project. NextDecade is actively working with the FERC, our partners and communities throughout the Rio Grande Valley to bring this exceptional project to fruition."

Rio Grande LNG is a land-based LNG export project located on a 1000-acre site along the Brownsville Shipping Channel in Brownsville, Texas. NextDecade's proposal includes plans for up to six liquefaction trains, with a nominal output capacity of 4.5 million tpy of LNG per train.

In addition, the proposed 129-mile Rio Bravo Pipeline will supply the facility with its feed gas, connecting the facility to the Agua Dulce natural gas market hub.

Complex facility

Shaun Davison, NextDecade's Project Director for North America added: “The complexity of an LNG export facility requires developers to fully appreciate the big picture. We knew going in that every aspect of the project had to be addressed and built into our design; from creating the upstream pipeline infrastructure as a gas supply platform for our terminal, to securing long-term off-take contracts. NextDecade is uniquely positioned to deliver on all fronts, start to finish."

The project is estimated to generate approximately 5000 jobs during construction, approximately 200 - 250 permanent jobs during operations, as well as a number of indirect jobs. The first phase of the Rio Grande LNG project represents a direct investment of approximately US$8 billion. The Final Investment Decision (FID) will come after the FERC and related permitting agencies have given full authorisation to construct, expected in 2017.

‘Fantastic opportunity’

Eisbrenner concluded: "Since first visiting the Port of Brownsville in 2013, we have been working tirelessly to make this project a reality. Brownsville is a wonderful location for our facility. With its position on the Gulf of Mexico, access to abundant gas supplies, and existing infrastructure, the Rio Grande Valley presents a fantastic opportunity for our project."

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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