Rio Grande project given notice to proceed on preparing site

Tuesday, 17 March 2020
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LNG Journal editor

The Rio Grande LNG export plant proposed for a 984-acre site in the Port of Brownsville in Texas has been issued with a notice to proceed by regulators with the implementation plan and site preparation as well as equipment mobilization. 

“Rio Grande LNG is authorized to mobilize equipment, trailers, and personnel to the Rio Grande LNG Terminal and commence full site preparation including site clearing and balancing, placement of imported material and rough grading of the terminal,” said the notice from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Lining up

Full construction of the Rio Grande facility by NextDecade Corp. is expected to commence shortly after the final investment decision and with commercial operations scheduled by 2024.

Rio Grande LNG will comprise liquefaction Trains to produce 27 million tonnes per annum of LNG in the Port of Brownsville with four storage tanks, each with of 180,000 cubic metres of capacity.

Marine infrastructure incudes deepwater port access with supporting facilities such as two jetties, a berth pocket and a turning basin.

Houston-based NextDecade, listed on the Nasdaq global exchange, can also proceed with the implementation of the projects Test Pile Program in Cameron County in Texas to lay out building methods and identify potential impacts that may occur when full construction begins.

The US Department of Energy has also authorized NextDecade to export LNG equivalents of natural gas to both Free Trade Agreement and non-FTA countries.

The plant at Brownsville is one of three plants planned for the area. The two others, Annova LNG and Texas LNG, are much smaller.

The FERC order also acknowledged the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s December 18, 2019 Endangered Species Act concurrence letter regarding the use of the Miradores Mitigation Site and the Loma Ecological Preserve as mitigation sites for Rio Grande LNG to support.

Rio Grande’s permit is confined for now to purely site preparation activities rather than full construction of the liquefaction plant and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline.

The Rio Bravo Pipeline will transport 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of feed-gas from the Agua Dulce natural gas hub to the liquefaction plant.

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