|MidAtlantic’s $200M project brings ‘healthy competition’|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Jun 26, 2012
MidAtlantic Petroleum LLC’s $200 million oil terminal project in Grand Bahama is expected to create around 100 construction jobs and employ between 15 to 20 Bahamians permanently, according to its president.
Gil Frank told Guardian Business that an additional oil and gas storage facility on Grand Bahama will create “healthy competition”. His company’s condominium-style terminals will be an attractive option for clients, he added, giving them more of a sense of ownership.
He emphasized the development’s ability to inject life in the local economy.
“In terms of creating people traffic when you have multiple owners they want to go see their assets,” Frank said. “But when you have companies that own a [condominium] they will go back and forth and see if the facility is being maintained properly. That process isn’t a short one and as a result tourism traffic from the business visitor is created and hotels and other businesses benefit from it.”
In other words, the unique style of storage could generate dollars for the nation’s number one industry.
Ian Fair, the chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, did not wish to issue a formal comment until he looked into the matter further.
According to Frank, he has held discussions with GBPA President Ian Rolle and received preliminary approvals. He said that conversations have also been held with Freeport Container Port (FCP) CEO Godfrey Smith, all of which have been “very supportive”.
Rolle did not respond to requests for comment.
Frank is confident that his offerings will be able to compete with the likes of the Bahamas Oil Refining Company (BORCO), which is the largest oil storage terminal in Grand Bahama. Frank said the capacity may not match that of BORCO, but MidAtlantic Petroleum should offer better storage prices. The condominium-style petroleum terminal will be operated where each owner will have their own tankage, but the infrastructure of the complex will be owned on a pro-rata basis.
“It’s a rather unique concept in this business, a lot of companies that I talk with will say if they are going to spend that type of money they want to own the [storage space] instead of renting it,” he said. “Our intent to offer that option will be welcomed by those companies.”
MidAtlantic Petroleum is in the process of finalizing a long-term lease for 30 acres of land for the facility. Its objective is to construct three million barrels of tankage for residual fuel, blended bunker fuel and clean products. The company also has the option for an additional 20 acres where up to 2.5 million barrels of storage can be erected.
As far as the actual facility, the MidAtlantic Petroleum chief mentioned that it will not be as “robust for labor”, but 100 construction jobs should be created over an 18 to 20 month period. Between 15 to 20 jobs will be created on the operations side.
He is targeting an opening date in early 2013.
“Grand Bahama’s proximity to the United States is a positive because a lot of customers could access their capacity and they could bring large products and transport them conveniently,” he said. “I believe that the project over time has great potential and we are looking forward to entering the market and conducting business in The Bahamas.”