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Grand Bahama to build oil refinery and storage facility

The Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has announced that his government has approved Oban Energies to commence an oil refinery and oil storage facility in Grand Bahama. The project, which will cost more than US$4 billion, is expected to create 600 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs during construction.

“My Government has recently completed negotiating the Heads of Agreement which paves the way for the commencement of this important project. This Heads of Agreement articulates how this development can proceed,” Minnis said.

The Heads of Agreement will be signed on Monday, and the Prime Minister said that over the following two weeks, two additional Heads of Agreements will be signed.

“We are on the road to revitalizing both Grand Bahama and the entire Bahamas,” he said.

“I am advised that Oban Energies Management team has been involved in large energy infrastructure projects around the world and brings over 30 years of large, complex construction experience. Oban Energies has further advised that the first phase of the project will consist of four million barrels of fuel storage, a harbour, and deep-sea loading docks to service large vessels; and the construction of a 50,000 barrels per day refinery.

“In addition, Oban will build [an] up to 20 million barrel liquid bulk storage facility and a 250,000 barrel per day refinery. The oil refinery has an estimated project cost of up to US$4 billion and the terminal has an estimated cost of US$1.5 billion. This is a very significant development for Grand Bahama,” Minnis said.

Pointing to some specific aspects of the Heads of Agreement, the Bahamian leader noted that the developer will contribute funds in the sum of US$100,000 per annum to be used for community projects and development of East Grand Bahama.

The Agreement also calls for the establishment of a local Advisory Board who will determine the use of those funds and shall be comprised of four mutually agreed persons to both the government and the developer.

Minnis further noted that the developer has acknowledged the importance of the marine environment to the government and therefore has agreed to provide US$150,000 to accredited research institute, as may be mutually selected by the government and the developer.

The developer will also make “commercially reasonable efforts to use Bahamian materials, Bahamian professional services and other Bahamian services in connection with the implementation of the development plan.”

Another aspect of the Agreement stipulates that the developer shall operate with the government to put in place and sustain, during the course of the development, multi-disciplinary on-the-job technical skills training and apprenticeship programmes designed to equip the developers’ Bahamian employees with a level of technical proficiency, reasonably necessary for the promotion and advancement.

“I think that this is great news for The Bahamas and the country will see more to come in the coming weeks,” added Prime Minister Minnis.


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