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Rio Grande LNG signs tax abatement deal with Texas county

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Rio Grande LNG signs tax abatement deal with Texas county

NextDecade Corp. signed a tax abatement agreement with Cameron County, Texas, as it seeks federal authorization for its proposed Rio Grande LNG export project in the county seat of Brownsville.

Subject to a final investment decision by the developer that would let the export project go forward, Rio Grande LNG would pay $2.7 million each year to the county in lieu of property taxes. The developer would also pay up to $10 million "to fund community projects and to maximize the hiring of local residents during construction and operations."

"These tax incentives are essential to the project's competitiveness, and we are grateful to have received broad political support, evidencing our commitment to safe operations and sensitivity to the region's environment and tourist sectors," NextDecade CFO Ben Atkins said in an Oct. 4 news release. "Rio Grande LNG is ideally located with access to a capable workforce, superb port facilities and abundant, low-cost feed gas from the Eagle Ford and Permian basins."

Rio Grande LNG is the largest of three LNG export projects proposed for Brownsville. The liquefaction and export terminal, which would include six trains, each capable of producing about 4.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG, is awaiting a draft environmental impact statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (FERC dockets CP16-454, CP16-455)