NextDecade gets approval to change Rio Grande LNG design

US company NextDecade has secured approval from federal regulators to ditch one train from its proposed Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas.

The original design for Rio Grande LNG included six trains each capable of producing 4.5 million tonnes per year.

However, NextDecade announced in July it would be able of producing the same total volumes with just five trains in an optimization move that includes slashing emissions.

This would lead to 21 percent lower total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and shortened construction timeline for the full 27 mtpa project, it said.

According to the FERC approval on August 13, the modifications include changing main cryogenic heat exchanger design to support individual train uprates.

Under the new design, NextDecade will also switch from single string to parallel string refrigerant compressors and change the heavies removal system technology.

It remains unclear when NextDecade would build the five Rio Grande trains.

The company has earlier this year postponed the final decision on the LNG export project due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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