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PM announces $4 billion oil refinery project in Grand Bahama

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#Bahamas, February 15, 2018 – Grand Bahama – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis announced that his government has approved Oban Energies to commence an oil refinery and oil storage facility in Grand Bahama.  The project is expected to create 600 direct jobs, 1,000 indirect jobs during construction and an estimated project cost of over $4 billion.  The Prime Minister’s announcement came at the start of the sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

“My Government has recently completed negotiating the Heads of Agreement which paves the way for the commencement of this important project,” said Prime Minister Minnis.   “This Heads of Agreement articulates how this development can proceed.”

The Prime Minister said the Heads of Agreement will be signed on Monday, and that over the following two weeks, two additional Heads of Agreements will be signed.

“We are on the road to revitalizing both Grand Bahama and the entire Bahamas,” added Prime Minister Minnis.

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“I am advised that Oban Energies Management team has been involved in large energy infrastructure projects around the world and brings over 30 years of large, complex construction experience.   Oban Energies has further advised that the first phase of the project will consist of four million barrels of fuel storage, a harbour, and deep-sea loading docks to service large vessels; and the construction of a 50,000 barrels per day refinery.

“In addition, Oban will build [an] up to 20 million barrel liquid bulk storage facility and a 250,000 barrel per day refinery.   The oil refinery has an estimated project cost of up to US$4 billion and the terminal has an estimated cost of US$1.5 billion.  This is a very significant development for Grand Bahama.”

Pointing specifically to some of the aspects of the Heads of Agreement, Prime Minister Minnis noted that the developer will contribute funds in the sum of $100,000 per annum to be used for community projects and development of East Grand Bahama.  The Agreement also calls for the establishment of a local Advisory Board who will determine the use of those funds and shall be comprised of four mutually agreed persons to both the government and the developer.

The Prime Minister further noted that the Developer has acknowledged the importance of the marine environment to the government and therefore has agreed to provide $150,000 to accredited research institute, as may be mutually selected by the government and the Developer.

“Such payment shall be made by the date – that is 12 months after the commencement of construction of the terminal and/or oil refinery,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

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“The Developer will use commercially reasonable efforts to use Bahamian materials, Bahamian professional services and other Bahamian services in connection with the implementation of the development plan.”

Another aspect of the Agreement stipulates that the Developer shall operate with the Government to put in place and sustain during the course of the development multi-disciplinary on-the-job technical skills training and apprenticeship programs, designed to equip the developers’ Bahamian employees with a level of technical proficiency, reasonably necessary for the promotion and advancement.   And shall render reasonable, periodic assistance towards curriculum development at the University of The Bahamas.

“I think that this is great news for The Bahamas and the country will see more to come in the coming weeks,” added Prime Minister Minnis.

By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)

 

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Invest Turks and Caicos Attended Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit

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#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2021 – Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is pleased to announce the Agency’s participation in the 10TH Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) held November 10th-12th, 2021, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

CHICOS is one of the premier hospitality conferences in the region. In its 10th year, this event brought together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators and the region’s leading decision makers – all to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities.

Invest TCI participated in the Caribbean Government Leaders plenary session on Friday, November 12th, alongside the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest St. Lucia, and JAMPRO. The plenary discussions focused on the investment environment of Caribbean economies in a post covid environment under two key themes: diversification of the economy and tourism and the need for greater involvement of (and positive impact on) local communities.

Attending the summit on behalf of Invest TCI was Interim CEO, Angela Musgrove and Legal and Compliance Officer, Judith Garland.

Commenting on the summit, Ms. Garland stated, “I was delighted to represent the Agency at the 10th Anniversary edition of CHICOS. I found the sessions engaging, and the industry trends and knowledge imparted was most valuable. It was great to meet new faces and establish relationships with industry colleagues, which can present mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships in the future.

Interim CEO Angela Musgrove stated, “Invest TCI will continue to support and leverage industry conferences to promote opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the Agency’s 5th year attending CHICOS, and it has allowed us to directly engage with potential investors and prospects interested in doing business in the TCI. Through these types of events, the Agency can continue to proactively target new investment opportunities, lucrative partnerships, and financial opportunities that contribute to overall economic development.”

For more information on upcoming events, visit our website at investturksandcaicos.tc.

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Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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Sandals Foundation donates to skills training programs in Nassau

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – The clothing, textile and art and craft programs at CC Sweeting High School and Aquinas College recently received a major boost from Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island, through their charity arm, the Sandals Foundation.

The resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar overhaul generously, donated bolts of fabric to both schools. This came after Regional Projects Coordinator, Kerry Ann Fung and her team alerted the Foundation about the fabrics as they felt that the schools would benefit greatly from them.

Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead did the handover and shared that while the resort’s doors may be closed, their hands and hearts remain open to the people of Bahamas.

“We are resolute about giving back to this country in any way that we can. I’m delighted that Aquinas and CC Sweeting will make good use of the fabric and that it will help students to develop the skills they need to create sustainable and expansive change in society. As we continue with the work on the resort, we plan on donating so much more in the coming weeks,” he shared.

He added that properly resourced learning environments form a huge part of Sandals’ commitment to education, as transformative initiatives have been the Sandals Foundation’s goal since its inception in 2009.

Principal at Aquinas College, Mrs. Shona Knowles who received the fabric on behalf of the school shared that the fabric will be used to aid in the inculcation of entrepreneurial skills in students.

“We have a very vibrant art and craft department. The fabric we received from the resort will be used by students for art projects where they make things like handbags, cushions, stool and bench covers and other artistic pieces. We also have plans to use some of the fabric to design backdrops for multimedia purposes,” she said.

“We are grateful to Sandals Royal Bahamian? and are certainly looking forward to a long-term partnership between the Resort and our school,” declared Knowles.

In addition to other donations that the resort plans on making, come December, the Sandals Foundation will be spreading joy with a toy through its annual Christmas Toy Drive. This initiative will see them donating close to 2000 toys to children from various schools and communities in New Providence and Exuma.

The Toy Drive has been a staple calendar event for more than 10 years through generous donations from United States toy company, Hasbro and the kind support of Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, guests, travel agents and partners.

Release: Sandals Foundation

Photo Caption:  Principal at Aquinas College, Shona Knowles accepts fabric donation on behalf of her school from Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead.

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