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NextDecade files formal FERC application for Rio Grande LNG, Rio Bravo pipeline

filed its formalapplication with FERC for its proposed LNG liquefaction and export terminal inBrownsville, Texas.

RioGrande LNG would include six liquefaction trains, each with a nominal capacityof about 4.5 million tonnes per annum. Gas for the project would be supplied bythe proposed Rio Bravo pipeline project, comprising twin, approximately137-mile, 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipes. The pipeline system would alsoinclude three compressor stations, two interconnect booster stations and fourmetering sites.

Inthe application seeking authorization under the Natural Gas Act, Rio Grande LNGLLC and Rio Bravo Pipeline Co. LLC asked FERC to grant the application by theend of the first quarter of 2017 "so that they may … mobilize constructioncontractors and commence site preparation work no later than June 2017 for theterminal and commence construction of the pipeline system no later than thefirst quarter of 2019." Rio Grande LNG plans to place the firstliquefaction train in service by the fourth quarter of 2020, with the otherfive trains coming online consecutively through 2024. (CP16-454, CP16-455)

NextDecadeentered FERC's prefiling process in March 2015 for the projects. In November2015, the company announcedthat it had signed heads of agreement for the sale and purchase of LNG from theRio Grande terminal. (PF15-20)

Thefiling comes just over a month after Texas LNG LLC a formal application with FERC forits proposed LNG export project, also in Brownsville.

Despitethe global LNG supply glut, the Rio Grande developers are confident that theterminal and pipeline projects are economically viable.

"Theneed for the terminal is supported by the existing and projected marketconditions concerning U.S. and world natural gas demand and supply," theapplication stated. "On the demand side, interest in exporting gas fromthe U.S., despite the billions of dollars of investment needed to develop asingle LNG export terminal, is driven by the U.S. supply situation coupled withlarge portions of the globe without access to stable, low cost, natural gassupplies."