Categorized | National News

Ferreira Uncertain Over Oban

Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreira is uncertain as to whether the government would proceed with Oban Energies multi-million dollar plan for East Grand Bahama.

Following Hurricane Dorian’s devastation, many may wonder whether the government is still considering the Oban deal.

The initial agreement called for a $5.5 billion oil refinery and storage facility.

Amid serious concerns and controversy, there’s the impact oil refineries can have on the environment and the government has for months been at the table negotiating a new deal.

According Ferreira, despite that timeline, there’s still a possibility that the government may be pushing ahead.

“The government will not move forward with any project whether its oil or a hotel, because hotels carry environmental risks too, without ensuring that all environmental safeguards are in place,” he said.  

“In addition to that, we intend very shortly to bring our sweep of environmental legislation which will allow us to enforce and protect in ways we have never done before.” 

The minister added that the Cabinet sub-committee formed to look into the issues has not yet been completed. 

“So it would be premature of me and immature to speak out on something whereby they have not finished their work,” Ferreira said. 

“They’ll finish their work and they will disclose to you exactly what the position is.  But I can tell you, as minister of environment and housing, that whatever happens going forward we will be on it because we are in the process of beefing up our environmental laws.” 

According to Ferreira, the government has already started in this regard, as the damage left behind in Hurricane Dorian’s wake has driven the government to push through a green economy for both Grand Bahama and Abaco.

“That is driving us forward with the environmental legislation.  As a matter of fact, the minister of environment and housing is doing his part. I have emphasized this a number of times,” he said.

“We installed one megawatt of renewable energy at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.  We fixed the New Providence Sanitary Landfill which was a source of methane that’s a green house gas.

“We’re installing RE panels on public schools.  We’re moving forward and doing things, everything within our power that we can do to make our country more climate resilient.”      

Meantime, the prime minister has said the new Oban Energies deal will be in the best interest of Bahamians.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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