The Central Bank of the Bahamas is reported to have made reference to the first phase of the 20 million-barrel facility in a recent presentation.
Details of the project planned for east Grand Bahama have been released by local news outlet, Tribune Business.
Initial plans and permissions for the terminal and refinery are reported as being handled by a company called Oban Energies, LLC, and its website provides a detailed description of the scope of the proposed project.
According to Oban Energies, the facility will be located off the southern tip of Grand Bahamas Island, 35 miles east of Freeport. The company notes that following the removal of the crude export ban in December 2015, the United States could become a major exporter of light oil which could provide ‘long term value to Oban’.
Requiring an estimated capital investment of $4.5 billion over four years, Oban Energies says that: ‘With a location just 90 miles (145 km) from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, this complex is ideally suited as a merchant facility for storing and blending liquid products, transshipping and terminal operations for the Arabian Gulf, West African and Northwest European trade to the United States’ East coast and the Gulf coast, as well as for North American trade to Europe, Latin America and the Pacific.’
The terminal would provide storage for crude oils, residual fuel oils, middle and light distillates, specialty vegetable oils and heavy oils, and the company says it will also consider other bulk liquid storage request. The facility would have a launch capacity of four million barrels, rising to 20 million barrels by year four of operation.
A 50,000 barrel per day refinery is also planned, and Oban Energies says this could be expanded to 250,000 barrels per day by year four of operation.
The leading storage hub in the Caribbean is currently the 26 million barrel-capacity Buckeye Bahamas facility.
Buckeye Partners acquired an 80% stake in the Bahamas terminal, formerly known as the Bahamas Oil Refining Company (BORCO), from First Reserve Corp in 2010, and subsequently acquired the remaining 20% interest from Vopak. The terminal had been under the ownership of PDVSA up to 2008.