LNG pays off for Port of Brownsville

From the perspective of Port of Brownsville officials, liquefied natural gas is a win even if the port never sees a single LNG facility get built.

Plans by three companies that want to build LNG liquefaction/export terminals at the port are under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Environmentalists have been highly critical of the plans, which have also caused nervousness among some local officials.

A global glut of natural gas makes bringing new export capacity online unfeasible at present, though the companies eyeing the port — Annova, NextDecade and Texas LNG — are planning far ahead and wouldn’t be operational until around 2020.

In the meantime, the port is collecting lease option payments from those companies. Port commission chairman Ralph Cowen said that through December, the three LNG companies paid more than $4.4 million in nonrefundable lease option fees on 2,280 acres.

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