Next Decade LLC has engaged Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) as Financial Advisor and Mandated Lead Arranger for its Rio Grande Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export project in Texas, USA.
Rio Grande LNG is a natural gas LNG export facility proposed for the Brownsville Shipping Channel, near Brownsville, Texas. The facility will be supplied with natural gas from a new natural gas pipeline, Rio Bravo Pipeline.
The Terminal will receive natural gas through the pipeline, treat the natural gas as necessary prior to liquefaction, chill the natural gas until the natural gas condenses and becomes LNG, store the LNG pending loading for transport, and load the LNG onto LNG vessels for export to other countries or onto trucks for transport to North American LNG fueling facilities owned and operated by others.
Under the agreement, SMBC will be responsible for securing debt financing for the Project. SMBC has extensive experience in LNG projects, having advised and arranged financing for more than 20 liquefaction and 11 regasification projects around the world, including all North American LNG liquefaction projects closed to date that were project financed.
Speaking to SMBC's experience, Kathleen Eisbrenner, Chairman and CEO of NextDecade, said,
"As one of the world's largest lenders in the LNG industry, SMBC boasts an impressive track record of successful energy project financing. Their commitment to our Project represents yet another NextDecade partnership that both strengthens and adds credibility to our efforts."
The role of financial advisor brings SMBC's expertise alongside NextDecade in structuring and optimizing its long-term agreements with global customers. SMBC will advise Rio Grande LNG, and ultimately lead the international banking syndicate, in securing long-term capital for the Project's construction.
Juan Kreutz, executive director and head of SMBC's Natural Resources Group, added:
"Our relationship with Next Decade reaffirms SMBC's expertise in, and commitment to, financing large-scale, complex LNG projects both in the United States and abroad."