While the Government of The Bahamas has been very quiet, not saying anything at all about Oban Energies, the oil refinery and storage project in East Grand Bahama is still on pace.
Oban Energies is networking with relevant partners and associates to facilitate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Oban Energies is on the ground out east, in the vicinity of Statoil, doing some very preliminary preparation towards a process that it is hoped will result in an approval from the government.
It is true that there are not a lot of obvious signs, from Oban Energies and certainly none from the government. Residents of East Grand Bahama are constantly in touch with The Freeport News via the telephone or online avenues.
What’s going on?
That’s the question. The people of the area want to see tangible activities. They want to get a profound feel for the project that is earmarked for their sector of the island. We suspect in the coming weeks, there will be some evidence of the continuation of the process towards an OK by the government for the project.
Surely, the government will provide an update soon. The situation is a conundrum for the government. Those who are leading the talks with Oban for the government are in a tight place. Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has had to convene Cabinet meetings for the purpose of revisiting the terms of the Heads of Agreement, signed with Oban.
The prime minister and his negotiating team members are trying to ensure that there are greater benefits coming in exchange for the 680 acres committed to Oban Energies. It looks like in the first instance, the government side negotiated badly, based on the terms of the HOA that were published.
Meanwhile the government is pressed to follow through with Oban. East Grand Bahama needs a quality investment that would boost the economy communities there. The government wants badly, to make good on the promises of a revitalization of the island’s economy.
By all appearances, even though government members are not talking publicly, it is looking more and more like the project will be approved.
There must be some signs soon though. East Grand Bahamians are getting anxious. The situation is unsettling for them. They don’t appreciate being so much in the dark about something that is to happen in their area.
The feelings of doubts, confusion, and disrespect are understandable.
The government must speak soon about the proposed project.
Oban Energies needs to have a more meaningful presence in East Grand Bahama.