MAKING PROGRESS

Latest collaborative agreement brings Texas LNG export facility one step closer to reality

NextDecade enters a deal with two major investors to move toward final investment decision for the Rio Grande LNG Project. Image via Shutterstock.

The Rio Grande LNG Project (RGLNG), an LNG export facility in Cameron County, Texas with planned capacity for exporting up to 27 million tons of LNG per year, makes a giant leap toward the final investment decision stage with the latest agreements signed by NextDecade Energy announced earlier today.

Entry to this next phase includes executing investor agreements with Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and TotalEnergies (TTE). In addition, TTE commits to purchasing 5.4 million tons of LNG annually for the next 20 years from the first three trains (RGLNG Phase 1) that will transport to the facility, with additional options to purchase from subsequent trains.

“This announcement marks a momentous milestone for NextDecade,” said Matt Schatzman, chairman and CEO of NextDecade, in the release. “We are excited to work with GIP and TotalEnergies on RGLNG and our proposed CCS project at RGLNG. We are also eager to grow our partnership with GIP and TotalEnergies focusing on our shared vision to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector.”

“With the world increasingly moving toward sustainable solutions, this partnership among GIP, TotalEnergies and NextDecade reinforces our shared commitment to helping lead the transition and shaping of the future of energy,” added Bayo Ogunlesi, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Infrastructure Partners. “This venture marks a critical step in displacing coal usage and upholds GIP’s commitment to promoting decarbonization, energy security and energy affordability. Our shared vision with TotalEnergies and NextDecade, combined with our capabilities, will undoubtedly help catalyze the development of cleaner energy.”

"We are delighted to join forces with NextDecade and GIP on the development of this new US LNG project, for which TotalEnergies shall leverage its extensive experience in LNG and technical expertise in major industrial project development," commented Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies. “Our involvement in this project will enhance our LNG capacity by 5.4 MTPA strengthening our ability to ensure Europe's gas supply security and to provide Asian customers with an alternative fuel that emits half as much as coal.”

Pending execution of the FID and definitive documentation, GIP becomes the majority investor in Phase 1 of the RGLNG, and TTE will acquire another 16.67%. Both companies will also have options to invest in Trains 4 and 5 servicing the South Texas LNG export facility and options to invest in future carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) efforts planned for RGNLG.

Trending News

A View From HETI

A Houston-based initiative has been selected by the DOE to receive funding to develop clean energy innovation programming for startups and entrepreneurs. Photo via Getty Images

Houston has been selected as one of the hubs backed by a new program from the United States Department of Energy that's developing communities for clean energy innovation.

The DOE's Office of Technology Transitions announced the the first phase of winners of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters, or EPIC, Round 3. The local initiative is one of 23 incubators and accelerators that was awarded $150,000 to support programming for energy startups and entrepreneurs.

The Houston-based participant is called "Texas Innovates: Carbon and Hydrogen Innovation and Learning Incubator," or CHILI, and it's a program meant to feed startups into the DOE recognized HyVelocity program and other regional decarbonization efforts.

EPIC was launched to drive innovation at a local level and to inspire commercial success of energy startups. It's the third year of the competition that wraps up with a winning participant negotiating a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT worth up to $1 million.

“Incubators and Accelerators are uniquely positioned to provide startups things they can't get anywhere else -- mentorship, technology validation, and other critical business development support," DOE Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of OTT Vanessa Z. Chan says in a news release. “The EPIC program allows us to provide consistent funding to organizations who are developing robust programming, resources, and support for innovative energy startups and entrepreneurs.”

CHILI, the only participant in Texas, now moves on to the second phase of the competition, where they will design a project continuation plan and programming for the next seven months to be submitted in September.

where they’ll implement their programming and design a project continuation plan over the next 7 months. In September they will submit their plans with the hope of being selected to negotiate a three-year cooperative agreement with OTT, worth up to $1 million each.

Phase 2 also includes two national pitch competitions with a total of $165,000 in cash prizes up for grabs for startups. The first EPIC pitch event for 2024 will be in June at the 2024 Small Business Forum & Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Last fall, the DOE selected the Gulf Coast's project, HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub, as one of the seven regions to receive a part of the $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The hub was announced to receive up to $1.2 billion — the most any hub will get.


The DOE's OTT selections are nationwide. Photo via energy.gov

Trending News