Two banks bring $40 billion of LNG capital raise history to the project

Texas-based LNG export developer NextDecade, LLC said it has appointed Societe Generale and Macquarie Capital to act as joint financial advisors in conjunction with the anticipated debt and equity financing for the construction of its Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects.

Rio Grande LNG is a proposed LNG export facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, planned for a 984-acre industrial site. The LNG project and its associated Rio Bravo pipeline are in the midst of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permitting process.

Societe Generale and Macquarie Capital Named Financial Advisors for Rio Grande LNG Project

Rio Grande LNG project as proposed. Source: NextDecade

FERC approval for major energy infrastructure projects has experienced a hiccup lately with the recent resignation of two of the three FERC commissioners, leaving no quorum for approval of major projects.

The Rio Grande LNG project is being permitted for up to six liquefaction trains each with nominal output capacity of 4.5 million tons per annum (MTPA). NextDecade reported it has signed 30 MTPA of non-binding sales agreements for its Rio Grande LNG project. In August 2016, NextDecade was granted authorization to export up to 27 MTPA of LNG for a 30-year term by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Societe Generale and Macquarie Capital have each played extensive roles advising on large-scale infrastructure and LNG project finance.

To date, Societe Generale has acted as Joint Lead Arranger in the financing and development of all LNG projects that have been commissioned in North America. For two of these LNG Projects, Societe Generale acted as Sole Financial Advisor and assisted the sponsors in raising approximately $25 billion in capital. Globally, Societe Generale has worked on over 45 transactions in the LNG sector, the companies said in a press release.

Macquarie acted as Financial Advisor and debt and equity arranger for Freeport LNG (Trains 1 – 3) raising approx. US$15 billion in total, including approx. $11 billion for the first two trains in the world’s largest non-recourse construction project financing in 2014, and approx. US$4.5 billion for Train 3 in 2015.

Macquarie Capital will lead the structuring and placement for the project finance equity in each of NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline projects.


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