Officials from the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission are presently in Grand Bahama meeting with Oban Energies President Satpal Dhunna on the proposed $5.5 billion oil storage and refinery project, This press secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister said.
During an earlier exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, following a town meeting on the controversial project, Dhunna reported that the meeting with BEST Commission was critical in order for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be completed.
There was public outrage over why the heads of agreement (HOA) was signed before the EIA was completed, however, Dhunna claimed this was the process that he was told “had to be followed” by officials.
“From our perspective we were always told and informed – through our own appointed consultants – that there was a process that needed to be followed,” said Dhunna.
“The government has reaffirmed that process and that process was very simple.
“In order to complete and EIA beyond the data gathering and preliminary work that we may be able to do- we needed to have a meeting with the BEST commission and other government entities first.”
At the time, Dhunna told Eyewitness News, that signing the HOA first was “commendable” of government and showed investor confidence.
“We needed confidence that the government believed in us as a company and in the project and they needed confidence that we were also committed to the project,” Dhunna said.
“Now that has happened the next stage is to ensure that the project can happen in a compliant, legally sound and environmentally friendly process.”