Work progresses on NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas

US LNG firm NextDecade is moving forward with construction work on the first phase of its Rio Grande LNG export terminal in Texas.

In July last year, NextDecade took the final investment decision on the first three trains of its Rio Grande LNG project on the north embankment of the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, and completed $18.4 billion project financing.

The firm also closed a joint venture agreement for the first phase which included about $5.9 billion of financial commitments from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), GIC, Mubadala, and TotalEnergies.

NextDecade also expects to take a final investment decision to build the fourth liquefaction train in the second half of 2024.

Phase 1, with nameplate liquefaction capacity of 17.6 mtpa, has 16.2 mtpa of long-term binding LNG sale and purchase agreements.

These include deals with TotalEnergies, Shell, ENN, Engie, ExxonMobil, Guangdong Energy Group, China Gas Hongda Energy Trading, Galp, and Itochu.

NextDecade awarded the $12 billion EPC contract to compatriot Bechtel and it officially kicked of work on the plant in October last year.

Work progresses on NextDecade's Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas
LNG tanks 1 & 2 area (Image: NextDecade)

According to Rio Grande LNG’s latest construction report sent to the US FERC, ongoing activities during the period of March 1-15, 2024 included soil stabilization via the deep mixing method in train 1 area, alongside essential site civil activities such as concrete foundation work and construction of the material offloading facility.

Simultaneously, work continued on building and improvement of onsite laydown yards and work pads to support construction; arrangement of temporary facilities; assembling of the CMT office complexes, and improving pedestrian walkways within the construction areas and temporary utilities.

Construction of the facility perimeter levee along the shoreline, and northern and eastern edges of the site, as well as improvements in temporary drainage and onsite construction roads progressed throughout this reporting period.

Also, the project continued the production pile-driving program for the LNG tank and pipe rack structures, excavation and foundation work for the LNG tanks 1 & 2 tower cranes, activities for shoreline protection, the installation of underground fire water piping, and the installation of underground feed gas and instrument air piping at road crossings.

Rio Grande LNG said that the project started installation of LNG berth 1 breasting dolphin template piles, and it maintained continuous monitoring of existing erosion control devices.

Throughout the remainder of March, Rio Grande will continue the ongoing work, it added.

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