Construction for Port of Brownsville LNG export site underway
Construction is underway for the Rio Grande LNG export project site at the Port of Brownsville.
Newly released photos of the construction show crews clearing brush and moving soil from the site.
The site could mean billions of dollars coming into the Valley to build what's needed to export natural gas.
"It's a very positive development for the entire economy of the Rio Grande Valley,” said energy analyst and former Port of Brownsville Director Joseph Linck.
NextDecade, the company behind the construction of the site, says they’re still seeking billions of dollars to fund their plan.
As part of the construction, 948 acres are being redeveloped from a habitat zone to an industrial zone.
Mary Angela Branch with the organization Save RGV from LNG said she has been challenging the project since its inception.
“What they've done out there already is a prelude to the complete decimation of very sensitive habitat,” Branch said. “This is a ploy to build excitement, boost investor confidence, let the community know they are coming, but it's a gamble."
The project comes at a key time when the war in Ukraine is straining supplies of natural gas in Europe.
While some experts in the country say exporting natural gas is the solution, a large chunk of natural gas exports go to China instead of Europe.
The new LNG plant would take years to develop.
"Because of [Vladimir] Putin, it's turned into a huge geopolitical weapon now," Linck said. “If they are breaking ground, it'll put a smile on the Ukrainian’s' face, it'll put a smile on the German’s face, because the Germans need that LNG even if it's four years off."
NextDecade says this month, they plan on clearing ground and moving soil, and surveying the shoreline with plans to redevelop it.