Following the recent groundbreaking of the multi-million Eco-Oil Bahamas Limited, Sen. J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for GB in the Office of the Prime Minister said that the venture can prove beneficial for many Grand Bahamians, as it relates to employment opportunities.
“This investment provides environmental, health and safety supports to our expanding maritime industry. We must also find ways to expand these support businesses for our maritime industry, increasing Bahamian involvement.
“I am particularly pleased about the plans to train Bahamians to work on their land facilities and the training that will take place on their vessel facilities as well.”
After hearing from Director of Eco-Oil Portugal, Francisco Quintela, Sen. Thompson added, “Following the presentation by Mr. Francisco Quintela, I am going to encourage a partnership between Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and Eco-Oil to ensure that we have the proper knowledge transfer, because this is a new industry for The Bahamas and for Grand Bahama.
“We want to ensure that Bahamians get the full advantage from this industry and that they get the full training of this industry not just for today, but also for tomorrow.”
Sen. Thompson continued, “Eco-Oil has advised that it is an international certified company, whose service is the acceptance and treatment of oily waters from both marine and land. They also, as was explained, have a number of other facilities that they will be bringing to Grand Bahama.”
Also present for the groundbreaking ceremony was President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Ian Rolle, who congratulated the company’s principles on behalf of the GBPA.
“Today’s ceremony marks the launch of Eco-Oil Bahamas Ltd., a joint venture project between Queensway Navigation of Greece and Eco-Oil Ltd of Portugal, to provide MARPOL and related services.
“Grand Bahama has long been referred to as the Maritime and Industrial capital of the nation. Recently, we were also branded as the Tech Hub of The Bahamas. After today’s ceremony, we can add to that – the first Port in the country, if not the Caribbean to provide MARPOL services. Indeed, Freeport is a ‘trendsetter’ and the presence of Eco-Oil Bahamas will serve to not only further solidify our position as such, but also to advance our efforts to bring Freeport Harbour in alignment with other MARPOL compliant ports around the globe,” noted the GBPA President.
“Today’s ceremony signifies the culmination of untiring efforts from all parties involved – The Bahamas Government, GBPA, Eco-Oil Portugal, Queensway Navigation, the Freeport Harbour Company and Hutchison Bahamas Ltd. It symbolizes a commitment by all to the continued growth of Grand Bahama’s Maritime and Industrial sectors. As a result of these efforts our island will see the creation of quality employment for our residents and the transfer of new trade skills within our labor pool.
“In addition, our Port which is already known as one of the deepest in the region, will now offer an essential service to the vast number of vessels transiting our waterways. A service which will be provided in a manner consistent with global best practices, for the protection of our precious marine and land resources,” said Rolle.
He continued by informing attendees that the launch of Eco-Oil Bahamas Ltd. represents an initial investment of around $10 million, one which will provide quality jobs for Bahamians in a new and exciting industry.
“The spin-off benefits of this venture are tangible and easily quantified not only for our economy, but for our young people, our environment and our unique offerings as a premier maritime and logistics hub within the region. Today can be described as a ‘Red Letter Day’ for Freeport and a win-win for all.”
He concluded by acknowledging the “diligent and collaborative” work of GBPA’s Business Development Unit, its Customer Relations and Building and Development Departments, and executives of Freeport Harbour and Hutchison Bahamas Ltd. “Your hard work has made today possible.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Eco-Oil Bahamas Ltd., to the city of Freeport. On behalf of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited, we wish you much success and a prosperous future as a stakeholder in the Grand Bahama community. Congratulations and best wishes,” said Rolle.