LNG in the RGV: Energy market’s future in Valley cloudy

BROWNSVILLE — The three liquefied natural gas companies that say they intend to build LNG export terminals at the Port of Brownsville took a gamble when they submitted their “pre-filing” applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the major preliminary step toward filing full-fledged FERC applications.

The pre-filing process alone costs millions of dollars, but there is potentially considerably more money to be made if Annova LNG, Rio Grande LNG and Texas LNG win FERC approval, secure long-term customer contracts, sign up investors, build the multi-billion-dollar plants and start liquefying and shipping natural gas to foreign nations.

Rio Grande and Texas LNG expect to go online in 2020. Annova aims to commence operations in late 2021. While conceding that construction of the terminals isn’t a done deal, the companies publicly express confidence that the market will roar back to life in a so-called “second wave” of LNG demand.

Annova spokesman Bill Harris likes to say the process of developing their plant is “a marathon, not a sprint.”

Texas LNG thinks the relatively small size of its facility gives it a niche and thus an edge.

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