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Oban Committee Awaits Expects Technical Report This Week

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Cabinet sub-committee examining the Oban Energies project will receive a key technical report this week, Labour Minister Dion Foulkes said yesterday.

"We are awaiting the report from our technical committee which is chaired by our Mrs Carol Young and Mr Loren Klein," he said.

Mrs Young and Mr Klein are senior officials in the Bahamas Investment Authority and the Office of the Attorney General respectively.

Mr Foulkes also said: "That report is due in this week. The subcommittee of Cabinet which I chair will meet, we will take that report to Cabinet with recommendations to amend the heads of agreement. The Oban group is in agreement with this process and are amicable to making changes to the agreement. We have not proposed the exact changes yet."

The technical group comprises "three Grand Bahamians who worked in this industry", he said, "mainly at BORCO now Buckeye that have given us invaluable information and advice in terms of oil refinery and terminal and storage. We think that we have an opportunity to make the heads of agreement a better agreement for The Bahamas from an economic point of view, an environmental point of view and a legal statutory point of view."

When it was unveiled nearly five months ago, the Oban Energies initial agreement received intense criticism, including from several environmental organisations.

The fallout prompted an admission from Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis that there were gross missteps in the government process.

Oban Energies has reportedly spent $10m on the project so far, according to its president, Satpal Dhunna, who said a significant amount of those funds were used to nail down the best location.

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