NextDecade has submitted an application to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorisation to site, construct and operate the Rio Grande liquefied natural gas (LGN) facility and the Rio Bravo Pipeline system.
Rio Grande LNG is a proposed 27Mtpa LNG export facility near Brownsville, Texas and the Rio Bravo Pipeline is a 137-mile pipeline system that will provide the facility with its feed gas.
NextDecade said that this action represents the most significant milestone to date in the development of Rio Grande LNG, placing the project in an excellent position to sign offtake agreements and declare Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2017.
The project is expected to create between 4,000–6,000 construction jobs, and over 200 permanent jobs, representing a potential investment of up to $20bn.
NextDecade’s CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner said: “After a productive pre-filing with the FERC and extensive consultation and cooperation with the reviewing agencies and local communities, we are proud to have achieved this major accomplishment.
“Despite recent low oil and gas prices, we have found robust appetite for US LNG on a long-term basis all around the world. This interest reaffirms the price competitiveness of US LNG for customers looking to diversify their gas supply on a global level.”
The FERC approval is expected to be received by the end of the first quarter of 2017 and the company expects to begin exporting LNG from Rio Grande LNG by the end of 2020.
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