Chamber head: GB economic boost from BORCO deal
The president of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce is optimistic about the potential boost that the recent$1.36 billion sale of the Bahamas Oil Refining Company(BORCO)could provide for the island’s economy.
Peter Turnquest toldGuardian Businessyesterday that he is hoping the sale of BORCO will act as a selling point to attract more foreign investors.
“Overall, certainly the development they outlined will mean an increase in activity at the facility, which should translate into additional economic activity through jobs and other services that they will require,”Turnquest said.”It highlights the transshipment facility and the interlogistics opportunities we have here in Grand Bahama through our port.. It’s a tremendous asset to us that a[company]of this nature signaled their confidence in The Bahamas in general and Grand Bahama in particular.
“This is an additional[element]we can use to support our mission to potential investors that this is the developing place in terms of logistics going into the future,”he said.
BORCO was sold to U.S.-based Buckeye Partners, which acquired an 80 percent interest in the facility. The agreement between First Reserve Corp. and the publicly traded Buckeye is expected to close in January 2011. The purchase will be financed through acombination of equity and debt, with its CEO Forrest Wylie calling the acquisition”a natural fit for Buckeye’s core business.”
Turnquest mentioned that the recent move coupled with Emera’s$82 million purchase of 55.4 percent of direct
and indirect interest in Grand Bahama Power Company(GBPC)should have residents of the island encouraged about the level of activity from foreign investors. He said new companies coming in with new ideas and expansion plans will provide additional opportunities for Grand Bahamians in the form of jobs created directly and indirectly.
The chamber chief also said given all of the recent activity over the recent months, the Grand Bahama economy should make forward progress in 2011.
“We are certainly not out of the woods, but I believe that we are certainly moving in the right direction,”Turnquest said.”All of these new investors are coming in and giving us cause to be optimistic of the future, it means that the world still has its eyes on us and is still interested. It does give us a reason to be optimistic about the future.”