NextDecade targeting Rio Grande LNG FID by end of second quarter

US LNG terminal developer NextDecade is now expecting to take a final investment decision on the first three trains of its Rio Grande LNG export project in Texas before the end of the second quarter.

“NextDecade is currently targeting a positive FID on Trains 1-3 of the Rio Grande facility before the end of the second quarter of 2023, with FIDs of the remaining trains to follow thereafter,” the firm said in a filling with the US SEC.

The LNG firm previously said it expected to sanction the project during the first quarter of this year.

EPC deals

The company has two lump-sum turnkey EPC contracts with Bechtel for the LNG export project for the first three trains. The full project would include five trains with a capacity of 27 mtpa.

The first deal is for two LNG trains with a capacity of some 11.74 mtpa, two 180,000-cbm tanks, and one marine loading berth, while the second deal is for one LNG train with a capacity of 5.87 mtpa.

NextDecade issued a limited notices to proceed to Bechtel last year to begin ramping up its personnel and initiate site preparation work at the Rio Grande LNG site.

Early works on the site include deep soil mixing, land clearing at test pile locations, onsite surveys, etc.

In September last year, NextDecade and Bechtel also amended each of the Trains 1 and 2 EPC agreement and the Train 3 EPC deal to give effect to certain updated lump-sum, separated contract pricing components.

The price validity under the EPC agreements with Bechtel expired on March 15.

However, NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG and Bechtel Energy amended the deals on Wednesday to extend the price validity under such agreements to June 15, 2023, NextDecade said in the SEC filling.

NextDecade currently estimates the aggregate lump-sum EPC cost to construct Trains 1-3 of the Rio Grande Facility at about $11.5 billion.

The company said that the final EPC lump-sum contract pricing for Trains 1-3 of the Rio Grande facility will be determined prior to FID.

Also, the price “is subject to change, including if Rio Grande LNG does not issue a full notice to proceed to Bechtel on or before June 15, 2023, unless extended by mutual agreement of the parties thereto,” it said.

Supply deals

In January, NextDecade signed a supply deal for the Rio Grande project with Itochu, the company’s first LNG customer from Japan.

Besides this contract, NextDecade signed deals with Portugal’s Galp, compatriot ExxonMobil, China’s ENN, Guangdong Energy, China Gas, and France’s Engie.

The firm has executed eight long-term sale and purchase agreements for a total of nearly 11 mtpa of US LNG, with substantial volumes dedicated for Europe, it previously said.

Last month, it also sold shares and sent a letter to the US FERC on February 6 due to delays over reviewing information regarding the Rio Grande LNG project.

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