NextDecade and SMBC join forces on Rio Grande LNG Project

Aug 04, 2015, 16:17 ET from Next Decade LLC

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Aug. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Next Decade LLC (NextDecade) has engaged Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) as Financial Advisor and Mandated Lead Arranger for its Rio Grande Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export project. 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." SMBC joins a growing list of some of the biggest names in the LNG, energy and financing businesses working with NextDecade, including EPC giant, CB&I, global investment group, Jefferies LLC, and investors York Capital Management, Valinor Management, L.P. and Halcyon Energy Investors, L.P. who recently injected an additional $85 million investment into NextDecade.

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.

"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," said Juan Kreutz, executive director and head of SMBC's Natural Resources Group. To date, SMBC has extended over US$2.6 billion to North American LNG transactions, ranking it first in the US amongst banks both by the number of deals in which it has participated and by total allocation. SMBC's partnership with NextDecade on its Rio Grande LNG project demonstrates its confidence in the project and provides a strong positive indicator of how others in the industry are viewing Rio Grande LNG's future.

About Next Decade LLC
NextDecade, based in The Woodlands, Texas, is a development and management company of land-based and floating LNG projects creating innovative opportunities in the integrated natural gas industry around the world. By bringing together people, companies and opportunities, NextDecade assembles the best mix of assets to deliver successful projects. NextDecade's current focus includes its Pelican Island LNG project in Galveston, Texas, in addition to the Rio Grande LNG project in Brownsville, Texas. Founded in 2010, NextDecade represents a team of industry leaders with extensive experience in the full LNG value chain, including successfully closing major LNG off-take deals, LNG/FLNG technology, and project management. The team has developed, led, closed and operated international, industry-leading LNG, Gas and Electricity projects. For more information, please visit www.next-decade.com

About Rio Grande LNG, LLC / Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC
Rio Grande LNG is a multi-billion dollar land-based LNG export project proposed for the Brownsville Ship Channel, located on the Texas Gulf Coast near Brownsville, Texas. NextDecade's project includes plans for up to 6 liquefaction trains utilizing proven, reliable, safe, and efficient technology, with a nominal output capacity of 4.5 million tons of LNG per train per year. Rio Bravo Pipeline is an approximately 140- mile proposed pipeline project that would supply Rio Grande LNG with its feed gas. The first phase of the Rio Grande LNG / Rio Bravo Pipeline project represents a direct investment in excess of US$8 billion, is expected to create 4,000-6,000 construction jobs, more than 200 fulltime jobs and support thousands of indirect jobs. The Final Investment Decision (FID), expected in mid-2017, will come only after the FERC and related permitting agencies have given full authorization to proceed and upon successful closing of project financing. For more information related to Rio Grande LNG or Rio Bravo Pipeline, please visit www.riograndelng.com.

Statements made herein by NextDecade, LLC ("ND") or any of its officers, directors, members, shareholders, employees, advisors, representatives, contractors or agents ("ND Representatives") may include statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on such ND's or ND Representatives' present views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to materially differ from those expressed or implied in such statements. ND and ND Representatives assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or to update any information contained herein.

SOURCE Next Decade LLC



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