NextDecade Corp. said it is considering a plan to use two production trains for its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in South Texas, but it still plans to eventually have six trains running at the facility near the Mexican border.

The Woodlands, TX-based company said it could make a final investment decision on its Rio Grande LNG project with as few as two trains, which would have the capacity to export up to 9 million metric tons/year (mmty) of LNG.

NextDecade said the project, to be built on a 1,000-acre site in the Port of Brownsville, was scalable, and that a full complement of six trains would be capable of exporting 27 mmty -- roughly the equivalent of 3.6 Bcf/d -- over a 30-year period.

"NextDecade intends to develop the full six-train plant at Rio Grande LNG, but does not need to develop the full-scale facility in order to offer customers significant cost advantages, environmental benefits, and reliable LNG supply," management said Monday.

The company said the project was advancing through the regulatory process and expects to receive a notice of schedule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "in the near future."

The project is to be serviced by the Rio Bravo Pipeline, a dual 42-inch diameter pipeline that would run around 140 miles from the Agua Dulce market area near Corpus Christi, TX, to feed gas to the facility.

NextDecade expects to receive final authorization in the second half of 2018. It currently has authorization from the Department of Energy to export natural gas to countries that have U.S. free trade agreements.