Police still investigating missing Oban file
Police are still investigating the disappearance of a file on the controversial Oban Energies project that reportedly went missing from the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission last April, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said yesterday.
“That matter is still being investigated,” said Ferguson, who was asked for an update during his annual press conference at the police headquarters.
“I’m not in the position to give you any more details on it, other than to say that it is still being investigated.”
Following the initial report of the missing file, police have remained tight-lipped on the matter.
The contents of the file were not revealed.
BEST is charged with the review of environmental impact assessments (EIA) and environmental management plans (EMP) for development projects within The Bahamas. It was transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister several months after the general election.
The government signed an agreement with Oban Energies in February 2018, for a $5.5 billion oil refinery and storage facility in East Grand Bahama.
The agreement was signed without an EIA in place.
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.
In March, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis admitted that the government made a series of missteps regarding the deal in its haste to boost the economy of Grand Bahama and as a result ordered a subcommittee and technical advisory group to examine the agreement in hopes of renegotiation.
The government’s renegotiating team was expected to meet with Oban’s principals on Monday, however, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes said the meeting was postponed because “one of the principals was unable to come in”.
Foulkes said the government hopes to complete talks with Oban Energies within two to three meetings.