EAST GRAND BAHAMA, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas — Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis says the acquisition of Liwathon Group of Companies of the South Riding Point Oil Terminal in East Grand Bahama is the largest commitment by US EXIM Bank to a CARICOM-based project.  Adding that it is a testament to the anticipated success of the project.

Prime Minister Davis was the keynote speaker during the relaunch of the Liwathon Terminal in East Grand Bahama on Thursday, June 27, 2024. The Liwathon Group took over operations of the facility from Stat Oil.

“So, I am pleased to learn that this project will bring over $72 million in investments to the local Grand Bahama economy – funded by the US EXIM bank,” said Mr. Davis.

“Once fully operational, this project will create 80 jobs and will also stimulate the economy through commerce with local businesses providing inspection, maintenance, hospitality services, and other sectors that will benefit from this project.

Prime Minister Davis called the relaunch of the major oil terminal a big day, not just for the Liwathon South Riding Point Terminal and the island of Grand Bahama, but also for maritime energy and transatlantic shipping.

He pointed out that the Bahamas, as a major transhipment and fueling hub, is a natural fit for the operation, noting that Grand Bahama was the ideal locale for such a major investment.

Mr. Davis considers the relaunch of the oil terminal as the latest of several strategic initiatives underway in Grand Bahama. Those initiatives range from a historic Health Campus in Freeport to an Afro-Caribbean marketplace at the site of the former international bazaar.

“Still, it will take a lot more work to fully revitalise Grand Bahama, as we continue the long trek toward economic recovery and revitalization post-Hurricane Dorian,” said Mr. Davis.

Prime Minister Davis noted that Hurricane Dorian dealt a deadly blow to the people of east Grand Bahama both in lives lost and property devastated. A part of the destruction in East grand Bahama by Dorian was a major oil spill from then Stat Oil South Riding Point Terminal, which infected the grounds and property of surrounding residents, undermining ecosystems and ecological services.

Mr. Davis said his government is taking measures to ensure that such a disaster is not repeated in Grand Bahama.

“In the midst of this era of climate emergencies, small island developing states like ours have to weigh the costs and benefits of certain economic undertakings, especially when oil is involved and our environment is at stake,” said Mr. Davis.

“And while we usher in a clean and just energy transition for our own country, we recognise that we must also seize current opportunities that will allow us to level the scale. In doing so, we must be prescient in our regulatory frameworks, and proactive in our protective measures.

“Moving forward, we will continue to require that safety and conservation of the environment are balanced against our need for investments and economic growth and diversification – not just for this project but for all projects launched within our borders.”

Pointing to Liwathon’s record, Prime Minister Davis noted that globally, Liwathon has a reputation for operating at a high standard of safety with an extensive track record of risk management.

“They have brought that same approach here, demonstrating a willingness to comply with our standards and approach this project as safely as possible, which is absolutely necessary given the nature of this industry and the still recent memory of the oil spill that damaged this area.”

Mr. Davis said that he was encouraged by what the new beginning will bring for Grand Bahama and Grand Bahamians. Adding that the reopening of the new terminal was truly a symbolic day for a revived and renewed Grand Bahama.

“Our prospects are bright,” he added. “As we celebrate the reopening of the Liwathon South Riding Point Terminal, let us recognize its significance in our plans for Grand Bahama – boosting economic activity on the island, and creating valuable job opportunities. May it serve as a catalyst for further progress in maritime energy and transatlantic shipping, driving us toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”

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