Among its final acts as the Government of The Bahamas, Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed last night that his Cabinet approved a natural gas energy deal with a company days before the general election.
Christie said if followed through the agreement would bring about more affordable and reliable power in The Bahamas.
While announcing his retirement from frontline politics at a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) National General Council meeting, Christie announced, “In the last remaining weeks of my government we made an incredible breakthrough in the provision of electricity.
“And the agreements were approved by Cabinet four or five days before the election.
“It was incredible insofar as its use of natural gas that it would make electricity more affordable, more reliable.
“A part of it was to pay off the $700 million rate reduction bond.
“It was to make electricity more reliable, more affordable and a company that was going to broaden its involvement in establishing in Freeport and in New Providence, facilities that will enable the government to earn substantial revenues from.
“As indicated to [Philip] Brave Davis (the new interim PLP leader) today…he has a responsibility to speak to it because the country will benefit from it substantially.
“It is an extraordinary set of agreements and the country should know who did it, as efforts will be made now by our successors to in fact review the agreements and make a decision as to whether or not they would proceed with it.”
After it was revealed in the media last week Monday that the Christie administration was involved in negotiations with a number of energy sector players, including New Fortress Energy, the Office of the Prime Minister release a statement regarding energy proposals.
It said, “The government has been giving consideration to the short and long-term electricity demands throughout The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, with a view to improving both efficiency in the supply of electricity and lowering the cost of electricity to the public.”
The heads of agreement with Baha Mar’s owners, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), calls for the government to facilitate energy and wastewater infrastructural upgrades before the end of 2017.
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest has said his government will look into negotiations for a liquid natural gas power facility, to be built near the existing power generation plant at Clifton Pier.
He noted that any deal that may have been struck by the former government before the general election will have to be reviewed to ensure it is in the best interest of the Bahamian people.