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Rio Grande LNG, Cameron County agree to chapter 312 property tax incentives

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LNG Industry,

NextDecade Corporation have announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Rio Grande LNG, LLC has executed agreements with Cameron County, Texas to receive Chapter 312 tax incentives for its proposed Rio Grande LNG export project at the Port of Brownsville.

The tax abatement agreements are aligned with distinct phases of the project and provide for the full abatement of County property taxes for each phase’s first ten years of operations. Subject to a positive final investment decision, Rio Grande LNG agrees to pay US$2.7 million in payments-in-lieu-of-taxes during each year of tax abatement for all phases. Additionally, the Rio Grande LNG agrees to provide up to US$10 million to fund community projects and to maximise the hiring of local residents during construction and operations.

Currently one of the largest proposed private investments in the State of Texas, Rio Grande LNG and its associated Rio Bravo Pipeline could invest more than US$15 billion in the County. At full build-out, the proposed facility and pipelines are expected to create approximately 6 000 direct jobs during construction; more than 250 permanent jobs at the facility during operations; and more than 3 000 indirect permanent jobs in the County. Additionally, exports from Rio Grande LNG could significantly improve the US balance of trade while supporting key allies with access to cleaner-burning natural gas.

NextDecade CFO, Ben Atkins, said, “This marks the start of our company’s formal partnership with Cameron County. We look forward to a long collaboration to positively impact the economic wellbeing of County residents.” Atkins continued, “These tax incentives are essential to the project’s competitiveness, and we are grateful to have received broad political support, evidencing our commitment to safe operations and sensitivity to the region’s environment and tourist sectors. Rio Grande LNG is ideally located with access to a capable workforce, superb port facilities and abundant, low-cost feed gas from the Eagle Ford and Permian basins.”

The Rio Grande LNG project is in the advanced stages of its regulatory approval process with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and hopes to receive all necessary approvals by mid-2018, allowing for a final investment decision later that year and first LNG in 2022. The terminal is to be engineered and constructed by CB&I, a world-class LNG engineering and construction company, and will utilise a proven, safe, low-cost design based on equipment supplied by Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Baker Hughes GE.

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