Canada's Enbridge has agreed to acquire the Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, a proposed pipeline project for the Rio Grande LNG export facility, from NextDecade for US$25 million.
The definitive agreement will see Enbridge pay NextDecade $15 million at closing and the balance paid upon NextDecade’s reaching a positive final investment decision (FID) on its Rio Grande LNG export facility in the Port of Brownsville, Texas.
The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
Upon closing, Enbridge will own one hundred percent of RBPL and assume all responsibility for the development, financing, construction, and operations of the Rio Bravo Pipeline. NextDecade will continue to be responsible for the development, financing, construction, and operations of its Rio Grande LNG export facility.
In addition, Enbridge and NextDecade have negotiated a precedent agreement, to be executed at closing, whereby NextDecade will retain its rights to the natural gas firm transportation capacity on the Rio Bravo Pipeline for a term of at least twenty years to supply NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG export facility.
“This agreement with Enbridge further enhances our commitment to our global LNG customers, natural gas suppliers and other stakeholders to deliver our Rio Grande LNG project on time and on budget,” said Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“We are excited to move forward with this transaction,” said Bill Yardley, Enbridge’s executive vice president and President of Gas Transmission and Midstream. “Enbridge’s commitment to the development of the Rio Bravo Pipeline in support of NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project further strengthens our ability to serve the expanding LNG export market and fits squarely within our low-risk business model.”
The Rio Bravo Pipeline is designed to transport up to 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project in Brownsville, Texas. In November 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order authorising the siting, construction, and operation of NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project and the Rio Bravo Pipeline.