NextDecade, Sempra seek extensions to build Texas LNG projects

By Marcy de Luna

(Reuters) – Two U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developers have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for more time to build proposed Texas LNG projects.

Sempra Energy said it has requested an extension until March 31, 2023, to build two pipelines in Texas and Louisiana that will connect to its Port Arthur LNG plant, while NextDecade Corp sought an extension to November, 2028, for its Rio Grande LNG project in Brownsville, Texas.

NextDecade did not reply to a request for comment.

Wednesday’s extension requests came the same day NextDecade announced it reached a 20-year deal to supply 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG from the proposed Rio Grande facility to a unit of China’s ENN Natural Gas Co.

Several LNG developers have announced new deals this year that could push ahead proposed plants. Energy Transfer signed a 2.7 MTPA deal with ENN while Mexico Pacific Ltd received a 2 MPTA deal from Chinese gas and power supplier Guangzhou Development Co.

In January, NextDecade said a financial investment decision for the Rio Grande LNG project would be delayed until the second half of the year. It was originally expected to start producing LNG in 2023.

At the start of 2020 and again in 2021, roughly a dozen firms signaled plans for FID on proposed projects. But only Sempra’s Costa Azul in Mexico started construction in 2020. Numerous others have been pushed into 2022.

(Reporting by Marcy de Luna; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)