BROWNSVILLE, Texas – It’s the first agreement of its kind at the Port of Brownsville. NextDecade LLC, the parent company of Rio Grande LNG, hosting a signing ceremony for a public-private agreement. That agreement is the company will privately fund significant improvements to the Brownsville Ship Channel. It’s a commitment, that shows LNG is confident about settling at the Port of Brownsville.

Matt Schatzman, NextDecade LLC, We expect to start construction in 2020 and finish the first train of LNG by 2023. That will correspond with the BIH work that we’ve talked about.”

The specifics on how much NextDecade will invest have not been revealed yet. That’s because the entire project has not been fully identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. NextDecade Representatives claim it will be a significant amount from the Gulf of Mexico to the LNG Project site. The port director says it could be as much as $200 million in a $300 million project.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, What this means for America cannot be understated. U.S. energy production has gone up over the past few years. That has allowed us to create jobs not just in Brownsville but all around the world. It has also fundamentally changed our position in the world in regards to foreign policy.

This project is a major investment from NextDecade LLC and it’s not only going to benefit Rio Grande LNG, In fact it’s going to facilitate commercial traffic throughout the Port of Brownsville.

John Reed, Chairman – Brownsville Navigation District, It allows for larger ships and vessels to come in to the Port of Brownsville. More cargo that can be brought in, it equates to jobs, it equates to industry.

Along with the signing agreement local leaders also stressing the company’s commitment to hire local for construction of the proposed LNG facility and for the newly announced ship channel project.

The final environmental impact statement for Rio Grande LNG is expected by April 26th. The company expects to have a final approval order by July 2019.