The Government of the Bahamas continues to flop on the Oban Energies issue.
Most would recall that with great fanfare, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced to the nation, from the House of Assembly, of the fantastic investment his government was about to secure.
Reference was to the proposed Oban Energies oil refinery and storage facility in East Grand Bahama. One debacle after the other followed, all of them quite embarrassing to the government, in particular the travesty, the botched representation of the People of The Bahamas in general, and Grand Bahamians in particular, with the Heads of Agreement process. The agreed conditions in the eventual Heads of Ågreement (HOA), have haunted the government ever since.
The government has been simply going around in circles regarding Oban Energies for well over a year. The latest scenario, now has the government’s point person on the Committee selected to re-negotiate the HOA, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes, disclosing that the proposed amendments to the HOA will be presented to Cabinet.
Well, the People of the Bahamas need a further explanation.
The committee has failed. Not one meaningful inroad has been made in negotiations with the Oban Energies representatives. Oban is standing firm, because in its possession is a signed HOA, which obligates the Government of The Bahamas to the conditions therein, all of them. Oban, reportedly did not budge during the much-hyped recent return to the table in March past.
Our sources have informed that Oban is following to the letter, the instructions of attorneys, foreign and local.
Now, there is the “waiting” period for a technical committee report on the recommendations.
Why the delay? Many months ago, Oban reportedly presented to the government the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
Clearly there is an impasse.
The government, because of the signed HOA, is obligated morally, and by law to give Oban the go-ahead to begin the proposed project. Oban is under no obligation to accept any changes to the HOA, and has not as yet.
That’s the bottom line factor.
Subsequently, our government is relegated to going around in circles on the matter.
The People of The Bahamas are not being well-represented in this instance.