US LNG project race stumbles as Rio Grande sanction delayed to next quarter

NextDecade has delayed construction of its Rio Grande liquefied natual gas facility in Texas, US, now expecting the final investment decision by the end of the second quarter instead of its previous expectations of before 31 March 2023.

The US energy company made a filing to the US Securities & Exchange Commission saying it had extended the price validity of its construction agreements with Bechtel Energy through to 15 June this year.

The aggregate lump-sum cost of engineering, procurement and construction for the first three trains of Rio Grande LNG is estimated at $11.5 billion for combined capacity of about 16 million tonnes per annum.

In later phases, the project will be expanded to five trains with total capacity of about 27 million tpa.

Rio Grande LNG was one of several projects expected to reach a final investment decision in the first quarter of this year, with Venture Global’s Plaquemines LNG phase two reaching being given the green light earlier this week.

NextDecade’s new project in Brownsville, Texas, plans to capture and store more than 90% of carbon dioxide emissions from the facility, which amounts to more than 5 million tpa.