NextDecade’s chief operating officer departs

NextDecade, developer of the Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas, said that its chief operating officer, Ivan Van der Walt, has decided to leave the company.

Effective June 10, he will leave the company to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a statement by NextDecade.

NextDecade appointed Van der Walt as COO in June last year. He joined the firm in July 2018 serving as senior vice president, engineering and construction.

His legacy is the “strong” engineering, construction, and regulatory leadership team he assembled that is responsible for helping deliver the Rio Grande LNG export project and the development of NEXT Carbon Solutions proprietary processes, NextDecade said.

“Ivan has helped grow NextDecade and his leadership has helped ensure we have the right team and processes in place to begin the construction of Rio Grande LNG in the second half of this year,” NextDecade’s CEO Matt Schatzman said in the statement.

NextDecade revealed three LNG supply deals for the first two trains of its planned Rio Grande facility this year.

These include the most recent deal with France’s Engie, and a contract the firm signed with a unit of Chinese independent gas distributor ENN. Prior to that, it revealed a deal with Chinese state-owned utility Guangdong Energy.

The US firm first aims to build two liquefaction trains with a capacity of 11 mtpa while the full project would include five trains with a capacity of 27 mtpa.

Assuming the achievement of further LNG contracting and financing, NextDecade expects making a positive final investment decision on a minimum of two trains of the Rio Grande LNG export project in the second half of 2022, with FIDs of its remaining three trains to follow thereafter, it confirmed in the new statement.

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