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NextDecade postpones Rio Grande LNG FID

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LNG Industry,

NextDecade Corp. has reported its 1Q20 results. These results provide an update on the company’s financial position and the progress it has made so far in 2020.

NextDecade continues to advance and de-risk its Rio Grande LNG project (RGLNG). 2020 highlights through April include:

  • Received additional regulatory permits for RGLNG.
  • Received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for notice to proceed: RGLNG shovel ready.
  • Sold Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC to Enbridge, Inc.
  • Extended RGLNG engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract price validity with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc.
  • Completed hazard and operability (HAZOP) study on RGLNG and engineering is now 16% complete.
  • Extended the commencement date of the RGLNG Port of Brownsville lease agreement.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting current LNG market conditions and therefore the final investment decision (FID) for RGLNG is now expected in 2021. Considering this change in the expected timing of FID, NextDecade has implemented measures to manage costs which the company believes will ensure that it has sufficient pre-FID liquidity to operate through year-end 2021.

The long-term fundamentals of the global LNG market and the Permian and Eagle Ford producing basins that will supply RGLNG have not changed. NextDecade continues to progress LNG opportunities with a significant number of prospective LNG customers that reflect the global nature of the LNG business and with US producers interested in supplying natural gas to RGLNG.

Currently, RGLNG has a 2 million tpy, 20-year sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Shell. NextDecade believes it can achieve a positive FID with an additional 9 million tpy of RGLNG capacity sold under long-term contracts.

“Our balance sheet is strong, we have no debt outstanding, and the long-term fundamentals for our Rio Grande LNG project remain firmly intact,” said Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This solid foundation, together with our sustained regulatory, engineering and commercial progress, positions the Company and our Rio Grande LNG project extremely well for when global market conditions improve.”

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