Trio in race for Rio Grande LNG EPC deal

The proposed Rio Grande LNG export facility (Image courtesy of NextDecade)

Three contractors are currently in race to win the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services contract for NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project in South Texas.

The US LNG developer NextDecade said Tuesday that following a competitive EPC bid process it issued formal invitations to bid for the contract to Bechtel, Fluor and to McDermott.

However, the McDermott invitation stipulates it shall secure a joint venture partner, NextDecade said in its statement.

NextDecade said earlier this year it planned to sign a binding EPC deal for the LNG export project with CB&I, now part of McDermott, in the second quarter 0f 2018.

In the latest statement, the LNG developer said that the duo has agreed not to execute the contract as they believe “McDermott will have to secure a joint venture partner in order to successfully execute and financially guarantee an LNG project of RGLNG’s size and scope.”

In that regard, to maintain Rio Grande LNG’s projected commercial operations date, as early as 2023, the company issued a new bid process after which it chose the tree mentioned contractors.

“Our focus remains on selecting an EPC contractor that shares our commitment to safety and is technically and financially capable of successfully delivering the Rio Grande LNG project,” said Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

NextDecade expects to execute a final lump-sum turnkey EPC contract in the third quarter of 2019 prior to a final investment decision on the Rio Grande LNG project.


Management changes


In a separate statement on Tuesday, NextDecade informed that the company’s Chief Operating Officer, René van Vliet, will retire as an officer and director of the company effective October 1, 2018.

He will remain as an advisor to the company until the end of 2018.

NextDecades has initiated a global search for a new COO and intends to conclude this process prior to year-end.

In addition, NextDecade announced that Ivan van der Walt has joined the company as Project Manager, Rio Grande LNG.

Effective on October 1, 2018, and until a new COO is appointed, van der Walt will report directly to Schatzman.

He will oversee all aspects of project development, including the competitive EPC process NextDecade announced on Tuesday.