U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer NextDecade Corp said it still anticipates making a final investment decision in 2021 to build its proposed Rio Grande LNG export plant in Texas.
That comment came a day after the release of NextDecade's earnings report to federal regulators. Earlier in the week French energy company Engie SA pulled out of a deal to buy LNG from NextDecade due to French government concerns about its environmental implications.
Those concerns persisted even though NextDecade has developed processes to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions at its LNG facility by about 90%.
NextDecade said it was also exploring options to address the remaining emissions to achieve carbon-neutrality.
Rio Grande is one of several North American LNG projects delayed this year as global energy demand has fallen with government lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus.
About a dozen North American LNG developers, including NextDecade, started the year with plans to make final investment decisions in 2020. That total is now down to just two and analysts said possibly only one or none of those projects will go forward this year.
NextDecade has said it has a 20-year agreement to supply 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG from Rio Grande to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
NextDecade also has a contract with engineering company Bechtel Corp to build two liquefaction trains for $7.042 billion or three trains for $9.565 billion. Each train can produce about 5.87 MTPA of LNG, or about 0.77 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.