NextDecade announces mammoth size project for Port of Brownsville

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Houston-based NextDecade has announced it has made a positive final decision to construct a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas export terminal at the Port of Brownsville.

The company made the announcement on Wednesday, July 12, and the story was immediately picked up and ran by some of the nation’s major news outlets, including the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Campirano, the port director, could not hide his excitement for the project.

“It’s real. This is it. I am glad its done,” he exclaimed minutes after the announcement was made. “This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Campirano called the project one of the country’s largest ones made by private enterprise as Phase One calls for an initial investment of $18.4 billion.

“There still are two more phases,” he said. “This is going to be a real game changer for the entire region.”

Brownsville Mayor John Cowen described the announcement as a wonderful news for the area.

 “This is huge. This is a massive project,” he said. “This works well with our commitment to attract more investment, will create jobs and will keep the momentum for more economic development for Brownsville and for the region.”

According to NextDecade, the project calls for the construction of three liquefaction trains at its 27 million tons per annum Rio Grande LNG export facility at the port.

In a news releases, the company stated a number of points, including that it:

·       Executed and closed a joint venture agreement for Phase 1 which included approximately $5.9 billion of financial commitments from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), GIC, Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), (collectively, the Financial Investors), and TotalEnergies (NYSE: TTE);

·       Committed to invest approximately $283 million in Phase 1 including $125 million of pre-FID capital investments into Phase 1;

·       Closed senior secured non-recourse bank credit facilities of $11.6 billion, consisting of $11.1 billion in construction term loans and a $500 million working capital facility; and

·       Closed a $700 million senior secured non-recourse private placement notes offering.

The $18.4 billion project financing for RGLNG Phase 1, is the largest greenfield energy project financing in U.S. history and underscores the critical role that LNG and natural gas will continue to play in the global energy transition. 

Industry experts expect a global shortfall of LNG before 2030, which if not addressed by projects such as RGLNG, may result in a prolonged reliance on other carbon intensive fuels such as coal and oil.

NextDecade has been actively involved in the RGV, giving presentations on safety and on the company’s intentions to invest in this region of South Texas.

Just recently, the company held a number of open houses to explain what LNG is, how safe the product is and who its potential customers are, most of which are in Europe, Japan and other countries.

Under Phase 1, some 5,000 jobs will be created during the construction of the export facility on land owned by the Brownsville Navigation District.

When in full operation some ten years later, the massive terminal will have a permanent labor force of 350 plus some 3,000 indirect jobs. 

“The future of the Rio Grande Valley’s economy begins at the Port of Brownsville,” Esteban Guerra, the chairman of Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners, said. 

“We congratulate NextDecade on their final investment decision announcement for the development of the Rio Grande LNG facility. This dynamic project, the largest private infrastructure investment in the State of Texas, will provide good-paying jobs and economic growth to the region.”

Editor’s Note: Credit for the main image accompanying the above news story goes to NextDecade.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read a related article by Ron Whitlock of Ron Whitlock Reports.

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