A Cabinet minister yesterday said “significant progress” had been made on several environmental and legal concerns associated with the Oban Energies’ Heads of Agreement (HOA).
Dion Foulkes, minister of labour, who co-chairs the Cabinet subcommittee spearheading the Oban review and renegotiation, said: “We had two days of talks here in the capital with the principals of Oban. I am awaiting a full report from the negotiation team chaired by attorney Lauren Klein.
“Significant progress was made on some of the environmental issues, and some of the legal issues, with respect to the Heads of Agreement. We are awaiting a full response from Oban with respect to the economic issues. They have not indicated when that response will come and I do not want to give a timeframe until I can ascertain exactly what the timeframe is.”
The government signed the initial agreement with Oban Energies on February 19, 2018, in what was later called a ceremonial signing. The agreement called for a $5.5bn oil refinery and storage facility to be developed in east Grand Bahama.
The deal, though, was immediately mired in controversy over the absence of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the past legal woes impacting one of its principals, Peter Krieger. Mr Krieger also did not sign his own name on the Heads of Agreement.
The prime minister last March admitted that his administration had made a series of missteps regarding the deal with Oban Energies in its haste to boost the economy of Grand Bahama, and launched a review that led to the current negotiations.