Officials of Oban Energies said Monday that the company will continue to engage the East Grand Bahama community in meaningful ways as it proceeds towards the completion of the approval process and commencement of their $4 billion investment in East Grand Bahama. This includes continued support of training and education, the environment, community projects, and the local supplier and local employment programmes established by the company. It also includes investment in the area of research. As per the Heads of Agreement, Oban Energies will also provide an amount equal to $150,000 to an accredited research institute as may be mutually selected by the Government and the Developer (Oban). The payment shall be made 12 months after the commencement of construction of the Terminal and/or Oil Refinery.
The company will also contribute $100,000 per annum to be used for community projects and the development of East Grand Bahama. A Community Advisory Board will be established to determine the use of the funds. Executives of Oban Energies and officials from the Government of The Bahamas signed the Heads of Agreement for the proposed $4 billion project Monday, February 19, 2018, at the Office of the Prime Minister, Cecil V. Wallace-Whitfield Centre, Cable Beach, paving the way for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. The EIA, already underway, will ensure that the project proceeds in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner. Peter Krieger, Non-Executive Chairman of Oban Energies, LLC said the environmental studies will be led by a local consulting firm “that has a personal desire and passion to protect the environment.” “Of course none of this would be beneficial unless we respect and preserve the environment. Our desire to preserve the environment is critical and aligned with our integrity. “In this regard, a significant investment has already been made to understand and mitigate environmental impacts.”
Mr. Krieger said the company will also launch a housing programme that will not only provide habitation for workers during the construction period but also provide long-term housing for up to 200 Bahamian residents — post construction. The local supplier programme, Mr. Krieger said, will ensure that there is a direct financial investment into the local community and will commit the company’s suppliers to use local talent. “Our employment programme will preserve 80% of jobs for local people. These jobs will be long-term, sustainable and underpinned by training programmes.” He explained — training and education include a commitment to invest in local universities and provide on-the-job programmes of instruction such as vocational apprenticeships and management trainee initiatives. “Our housing programme,” he said, “will not only house workers during the construction period but will also provide long-term housing for up to 200 residents post construction. These homes are reserved exclusively for local residents. Local housing creates local communities and we will support these communities by committing to invest in local community projects,” Mr. Krieger added.
Mr. Krieger said the company, its shareholders, management team and strategic partners, have worked “extremely hard” over the past two years to make the project a reality and to ensure that the local community receives direct benefits. “During this time, our company policy has been to engage and deliver benefits to the local community and we have achieved this through the engagement of local suppliers, partners, and advisors. “As we move this project to the next stage, I hereby make a commitment to continue our local supplier and local employment programmes, and I further commit to implement a programme for housing and to develop the skills of our workforce,” Mr. Krieger said. Phase 1 of the Project requires a $1.5 billion investment for development, construction, and start-up operations. The Project will provide storage tankage for crude oils, residual fuel oils, middle and light distillates, specialty vegetable oils and heavy oils, and will consider all other bulk liquid storage requests and will launch with an initial capacity of four million barrels, with plans to expand capacity to 20 million barrels by year four of facility operation.