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NextDecade seeks new construction contractor for Rio Grande LNG

NextDecade Corp. launched a competitive engineering, procurement and construction bid process after agreeing with McDermott International Inc. not to execute a contract for construction on the Rio Grande LNG project in Texas.

The company hopes the process, for front-end engineering and design verification, will help it maintain the project's schedule, with expected commercial operations as early as 2023. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV, which in December 2017 combined with McDermott International, was the front-end engineering and design contractor for Rio Grande LNG.

NextDecade reviewed a number of expressions of interest from engineering, procurement and construction, or EPC, contractors, and chose to issue formal invitations to Bechtel Corp., Fluor Corp. and McDermott, according to a Sept. 4 news release. The company's invitation to McDermott specified its need for a joint venture partner.

The LNG-focused development company expects to execute a final lump-sum turnkey EPC contract in the third quarter of 2019, prior to the project's final investment decision.

In a separate release, the company announced that René van Vliet will retire as the company's COO and as a member of its board, effective Oct. 1, but will stay as an adviser until the end of 2018. NextDecade also named Ivan van der Walt as project manager for Rio Grande LNG.