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Rio Grande LNG Protest

By Tyson Slocum

Today in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission docket CP24-70, Public Citizen, South Texas Environmental Justice Network, Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas and Private Equity Stakeholder Project protest a filing by NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG for failing to accurately describe all of its upstream ownership. Rio Grande LNG is a proposed methane export terminal located on the Brownsville Ship Channel just outside Port Isabel and just two miles from the Mexico border.

The February 22 application by Rio Grande LNG for a partial transfer of ownership is deficient, as it omits York Capital Management, Bardin Hill Management Partners and BlackRock Inc. as upstream owners.

Exhibit B of the February 22 application reports the following upstream owners of Rio Grande LNG:

  • NextDecade (minimum 20.79% economic interest).
  • Global Infrastructure Partners (minimum 46.12% economic interest).
  • Devonshire Investment, which Public Citizen has determined is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GIC, the national sovereign wealth fund of the government of Singapore (minimum 9.85%).
  • An affiliate of TotalEnergies, a French multinational energy company (16.67% economic interest).
  • Mubadala Investment Company (MIC), a sovereign wealth fund of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (minimum 6.57% economic interest).

Certain private equity funds control both NextDecade’s voting shares and seats on its board of directors that are undisclosed in the application. York Capital Management controls 23.8% of NextDecade’s voting shares, and a York Capital Management executive, William Vrattos, serves on NextDecade’s board. Bardin Hill Management Partners owns 3.3% of NextDecade’s voting shares, and a Bardin Hill executive, Avinash Kripalani, sits on NextDecade’s board. The application fails to list York Capital Management and Bardin Hill Management as upstream owners.

On January 12 BlackRock Inc. announced it was acquiring Global Infrastructure Partners for $12.5 billion. BlackRock not only owns 6.5% of NextDecade’s voting shares, but will now also control Global Infrastructure Partners’ 46.12% economic interest in Rio Grande LNG.

The application is deficient because it fails to include York Capital Management, Bardin Hill Management Partners and BlackRock Inc. as upstream owners.

Read the full, three-page filing here: RioGrandeLNG