Rio Grande project in Texas aims for plant with carbon-capture and investment decision in 2021

Tuesday, 13 October 2020
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LNG Journal editor: 

NextDecade Corp., the owner of the Rio Grande LNG export project near the port of Brownsville in Texas, said it had developed proprietary processes using proven technology to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions at the facility.

The company, listed on the Nasdaq global exchange, said the plans would see a drop of 90 percent in carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions at Rio Grande and it was exploring options to address the remaining emissions to possibly achieve carbon-neutrality.


Rio Grande previously proposed that the plant would have five liquefaction Trains instead of six while maintaining annual output of 27 million tonnes per annum.

NextDecade had also said its activities before taking a final investment decision were focusing on engineering and reducing the facility’s environmental footprint.

Analysts noted that this was especially relevant as the Rio Grande plant will be close to two other facilities on the Brownsville Ship Channel area.

These are Texas LNG, owned by New York-based Glenfarne Group, and Annova LNG whose backers include Exelon Corp., the utility headquartered in Chicago.

“Throughout the course of NextDecade’s pre-FID development activities, and intensively in recent months, the company has evaluated multiple technical solutions to ascertain the commercial viability of dramatically reducing CO2e emissions,” the company explained.

Based on these evaluations, NextDecade stated that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the most feasible technical solution for Rio Grande LNG.

The company said it believed that the addition of proven CCS technology in conjunction with its proprietary processes could reduce the CO2e emissions of Rio Grande LNG by approximately 90 percent.

While NextDecade advances its work in this area, it added that it was also exploring options to address the remaining 10 percent of CO2e emissions.

“Natural gas has a critical role to play in the global energy transition to a low-carbon economy, ensuring the security of energy supplies and preserving high quality jobs in the United States and around the world,” said Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s Chairman and Chief Executive.

“Our work to date confirms that reliable, competitively priced LNG and responsible environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive,” added Schatzman.

“A solution that promises both is indeed eminently feasible with the thoughtful use of existing technologies and the application of our proprietary processes,” declared the CEO.

NextDecade added that it was continuing to work on remaining commercial agreements needed to achieve an FID in 2021, enabled by what it described as “flexible commercial offerings and leadership in environmental and social performance”, including targeting carbon-neutrality at the Rio Grande plant.

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