NextDecade pens long-term LNG supply deal with Japan’s Itochu

NextDecade, the developer of the Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas, has signed a long-term deal to supply liquefied natural gas to Japan’s Itochu.

Under the 15-year sales and purchase deal, Itochu would buy from Rio Grande LNG one million tonnes per annum of LNG on a FOB basis, according to a statement by NextDecade released on Thursday.

Also, Itochu’s LNG supplies are indexed to Henry Hub.

Commercial deliveries of Next Decade’s Rio Grande LNG project in Texas are expected to start in 2027.

First Japanese customer

NextDecade said that Itochu is the company’s first LNG customer from Japan.

The firm recently agreed to supply more LNG to Chinese independent gas distributor ENN.

Under the 20-year sales and purchase deal, ENN LNG (Singapore), a wholly-owned unit of ENN Natural Gas, will now buy 2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

Prior to this deal, NextDecade last year signed LNG supply deals with Portugal’s Galp, compatriot ExxonMobil, China’s Guangdong EnergyChina Gas, and France’s Engie.

FID in Q1 2023

NextDecade confirmed it is currently targeting a positive final investment decision (FID) on the first three trains of the LNG export project during the first quarter of 2023, with FIDs of its remaining trains to follow thereafter.

Also, the US firm and compatriot engineering and construction giant Bechtel are moving forward with early construction works to prepare the Rio Grande site located in the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

The full Rio Grande project would include five trains with a capacity of 27 mtpa.

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