Despite a number of pitfalls and widespread rejection, the Oban Energies project to construct a $5.5 billion oil refinery and storage facility in East Grand Bahama, is continuing as intended with a government committee now appointed to monitor the progress of the project.
Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Anthony Newbold revealed Tuesday that government has formed a committee that “will not allow anything to damage the environment of Grand Bahama.”
After admitting that government made several mistakes with the project, Newbold said the project will proceed.
“If another decision is made in regard to that project we will keep you updated,” Newbold said.
The Oban project hit its first bump in the road after the former non-executive chairman Peter Krieger signed the heads of agreement (HOA) as opposed to the company’s president. Following the discovery, a wave of controversy ensued over the fact that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had yet to be completed.
Most recently, the BEST Commission’s file on the project was reported missing and to date has not been retrieved.
Last week Attorney General Carl Bethel said the government is now doing due diligence in regard to the project.
He said it has become clear that the practices and procedures of The Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) are antiquated and have not kept up with advances made in technology and the Internet since that institution was created.
Bethel said that solely relying only on a current police record and character references, social security numbers and basic financial information, as required by the permit application form, is not enough to fully explore the character and antecedents of any potential investors for the country.
The controversy surrounding the Oban project, he said, highlighted the weaknesses which are now being corrected.