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UTRGV Partners with NextDecade

NextDecade partnership with UTRGV aims to stimulate STEM-based learning and boost local economy


UTRGV President Guy Bailey and NextDecade founder, chairman and CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, at the president’s office on the Edinburg Campus. The partnership’s goal is to foster STEM-based education programs, facilitate research and job training opportunities for UTRGV students, and promote collaboration between academia and industry. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

EDINBURG, TEXAS – AUG. 31, 2016 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and NextDecade, LLC, developer of the proposed multi-billion dollar Rio Grande Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project at the Port of Brownsville, have entered into a strategic partnership to foster STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs, facilitate research and job training opportunities for UTRGV students, and promote collaboration between academia and industry as they seek common solutions to societal challenges today and into the future.

The partnership was formed through a common belief that STEM learning and research programs provide pathway opportunities for students to enter the workforce in the energy, engineering and technology industries. The program also will serve to bolster local social and economic development and will be tailored to meet the needs of the community as well as of prospective employers.

“Energy forms the basis for economic growth and many of our interdependent infrastructures, including transportation, water, manufacturing, security, information systems and healthy communities,” said Dr. Alex Domijan, professor and dean of the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Science. “This partnership will bring wonderful opportunities to provide a path to a better life for people in our region and connect us with global opportunities, as well.”

Domijan said UTRGV is positioned to be the place of first choice nationally in education and research.

“We get things done, and our college will have professors and staff in all parts of the Valley working with the cities and counties. The College of Engineering and Computer Science strategy is all about compassion, community and technology, in that order, and moving forward, the partnerships we enter into are built on providing value to the people of the Valley, such as expanding job opportunities and producing innovations,” he said.

“This partnership with NextDecade will enable us to do just that, and more specifically will promote a close collaboration between academia, industry, citizens and government by providing energy, engineering and technology opportunities locally.”

The Rio Grande LNG project is currently the largest proposed private investment in the state of Texas. By working closely with educational and business organizations throughout the Valley, NextDecade hopes to maximize benefits to the Valley community.

“NextDecade is passionate about inspiring today’s youth,” said Kathleen Eisbrenner, chair and CEO of NextDecade. “We support STEM education programming and have placed special emphasis in the Rio Grande Valley region, where we have a vested interest to attract and retain local talent. Our hope is that this partnership will have a significant long-term beneficial impact for all UTRGV students and the community in which it operates.”

Eisbrenner has long been a mentor and advocate for young people, recently being named to the board of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, a volunteer-based organization that fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, through the use of experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.

The partnership comes just as UTRGV celebrates its one-year anniversary. 

Learn more about UTRGV at

About NextDecade Corporation

NextDecade is an LNG development company primarily focused on LNG export projects and associated pipelines in Texas. NextDecade intends to develop a portfolio of LNG projects, including the 27 mtpa Rio Grande LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas and the 4.5 Bcf/d Rio Bravo Pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Agua Dulce area to Rio Grande LNG. NextDecade’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “NEXT.” NextDecade is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Located at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas, NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project is expected to be a leader among second wave U.S. LNG projects. NextDecade believes its customers and shareholders will benefit from the project’s experienced leadership, proven approach, and optimal location. NextDecade’s technology selections are expected to foster operational reliability and afford NextDecade’s customers access to abundant natural gas from the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, and other basins.


This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws. The words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, and these statements may relate to the business of the Company and its subsidiaries. These statements have been based on the Company’s current assumptions, expectations, and projections about future events and involve a number of known and unknown risks, which may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks include uncertainties about the Company’s Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo pipeline projects and other matters discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and other subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Any development of the projects remain contingent upon completing required commercial agreements; acquiring all necessary permits and approvals; securing all financing commitments and potential tax incentives; achieving other customary conditions; and making a final investment decision to proceed. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak as of the date of this release. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, the Company can give no assurance that the expectations will prove to be correct. The Company may from time to time voluntarily update its prior forward-looking statements, however, it disclaims any commitment to do so except as required by securities laws.

For further information:

Investors: Patrick Hughes | + 1 (832) 209 8131 |
Media: Ashley Helmer | + 1 (281) 249 5453 |