Monday, Jan 20, 2020
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Davis: Kill Oban deal

Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis said the government should kill the Oban Energies deal instead of attempting to salvage it.

“This was a transaction that was weaved by the prime minister and others, a weave that has entangled them,” he said.

“They are just hoping that this just blows away.

“I don’t know that they will ever be able to strike an Oban deal because the nucleus of the transaction is an endangered species. I mean, you have oil refineries closing around the world and even on the eastern seaboard. What makes us believe that this will work here?

“The Oban deal is just another of the many exposures of how incompetent this government is and the fact that they are desperate and their desperation is causing them to be blinded to realities.”

The government signed the agreement with Oban Energies on February 19 with Oban Non-Executive Chairman Peter Krieger, in what was later called a ceremonial signing.

The agreement was for a $5.5 billion oil refinery and storage facility project in East Grand Bahama.

The agreement was signed without an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in place – a major point of contention for environmentalists and others.

In March, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis admitted that his government made a series of missteps regarding its deal with Oban Energies in its haste to boost the economy of Grand Bahama.

The government hopes to increase the economic benefits for Bahamians and environmental protections in the amended heads of agreement.

The current heads of agreement with Oban states that the government does not have an option to kill the deal based on anything the EIA concludes, but must work with Oban to address any concerns raised by the study.

A Cabinet subcommittee and technical advisory group was formed and charged with examining the deal.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes, who heads the subcommittee, recently said he is still awaiting instructions from Cabinet on the way forward for the amended heads of agreement.

But Davis said the Cabinet subcommittee is merely a response to “piercing questions that the government either doesn’t want to answer or is too incompetent to answer”.

“I have little confidence that this will go on and the government just needs to come out and say, ‘Look we bumbled and we are leaving it and we are moving on,’” Davis said.

Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Assistant Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.
Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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