After years of research, public input, regulatory review and permitting, Rio Grande LNG is in the final stages leading up to construction.
Ivan Van der Walt, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Construction explained that, on the regulatory side, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) indicated that it would issue the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project in April 2019 and a favorable federal authorization decision in July 2019.
“On the construction side, our focus remains to select an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contracting company that shares our commitment to safety and is technically and financially capable of successfully delivering the project,” Van der Walt said. “We expect to execute that EPC contract in the third quarter of 2019 before NextDecade makes its final investment decision (FID) on the project.”
Van der Walt oversees the day-to-day development activities of the proposed Rio Grande LNG export facility and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline. He brings 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including senior roles with CB&I (now McDermott) and Chevron, as well as management experience on several liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas pipeline projects around the world.
Living values to deliver success
Van der Walt explained that the project priorities are also its values: safety, integrity, honesty, respect, transparency, and diversity.
“These values drive everything we do. We’ll use key performance indicators to measure our success in living these values throughout construction and operations.”
Committed to hiring locally
NextDecade also has committed to hiring locally as much as possible. The project developer is partnering with local training institutions to give local workers the skills needed for the project.
NextDecade also will require its contractors to meet minimum local hiring percentages for project labor performed on-site and in the region. They also will be expected to promote and provide job skills training to workers directly and through training institutions.
“Training and hiring locally ensures that thousands of families in the region will benefit from the good-paying jobs that Rio Grande LNG will bring. It also means that Rio Grande Valley residents already working in LNG construction elsewhere can come home to apply their skills and make a good living,” he said.
Part of the community
Van der Walt and his family are looking forward to being part of the Brownsville community. A native of southern Africa, Van der Walt said that his work to build projects similar to Rio Grande LNG has taken him and his family to live in countries around the world.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of this project and am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to lead a great, safe project with widespread community benefits.”