NextDecade Corp. updated its progress on the development of its $18.4 billion Rio Grande LNG facility, as well as targets for final investment decision (FID) on two additional trains, the company said in a March 11 business update.

NextDecade took FID on the LNG facility last July. The company’s first three trains are being constructed in Brownsville, Texas, and will have a 17.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) capacity.

NextDecade is building the five-train facility in two phases that will ultimately offer 27 mtpa of liquefaction capacity.

The company on March 11 said overall completion for Trains 1 and 2 and the common facilities at Rio Grande stood at 14.3%. Engineering is 47.9% complete, procurement 26.8% and construction is 1% complete.

Overall project completion for Train 3 was 4.4% complete, based on preliminary schedules in line with the schedule under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Bechtel Energy. For Train 3, engineering was 3.4% complete and procurement was 10.6% complete with construction not yet underway.

The company has started the FEED and EPC contract processes with Bechtel for Train 4 and is progressing with several potential LNG buyers to provide commercial support for it. NextDecade reported that TotalEnergies has LNG purchase options for 1.5 mtpa both Train 4 and Train 5.

NextDecade is targeting a positive FID and commencement of construction of Train 4 and related infrastructure at the Rio Grande LNG Facility in the second half of 2024, followed by a fifth train and related infrastructure.

If TotalEnergies exercises its LNG purchase options, the company currently estimates that an additional approximately 3 mtpa of LNG must be contracted on a long-term basis for each of Train 4 and Train 5 before making a positive FID for the respective train.

NextDecade expects to finance the construction of Train 4 through a combination of debt and equity funding. The company expects to tap bank facilities for the debt portion of the funding.

Matt Schatzman, NextDecade's chairman and CEO, said the company is focused on delivering Rio Grande’s Phase 1 “on time, and on budget and delivering a positive FID of our fully permitted expansion capacity to meet growing global demand for cleaner energy sources including LNG."

Schatzman said the company is also actively working to capitalize on market opportunities and position the company for sustained growth through expansion of its operational footprint.

“With regulatory approvals in place, our Train 4 and 5 expansion capacity is well-positioned to meet growing global demand for LNG,” he said. “Supportive market conditions provide tailwinds to continue progressing toward FID of Train 4, which is well underway. Commercial discussions with various potential counterparties and the FEED and EPC contracting processes are proceeding well. Our progress remains aligned with our goal of reaching a positive final investment decision for Train 4 in the second half of this year."

NextDecade is constructing and developing the Rio Grande LNG facility on the north shore of the Brownsville Ship Channel through its partially-owned subsidiary Rio Grande.

The site is located on 984 acres of land, which is held under a long-term lease and includes 15,000 feet of frontage on the channel. The facility has received necessary approvals and authorizations required for construction from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy.