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Miller questions energy deal

  • Former Tall Pines Member of Parliament Leslie Miller addresses questions from the media during a brief visit to the Ministry of Works on John F. Kennedy Drive yesterday. Photo: Ahvia J. Campbell

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: May 19, 2017

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Former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday he finds the energy deal former Prime Minister Perry Christie announced during his farewell speech on Monday night “a strange one”.

Miller, a major proponent of liquified natural gas (LNG), was asked what he made of the agreement, reportedly with New Fortress Energy, which, according to sources, would see, if carried out, an LNG facility built near Clifton Pier.

“That’s a strange one,” Miller told The Nassau Guardian.

“I don’t know how you are going to put a gasification terminal at Arawak Cay when they did not want to put in on Ocean Cay, which is nine miles from Bimini.

“That’s a strange one, but you know.”

In 2009, U.S. firm AES Corporation proposed constructing an LNG facility on Ocean Cay.

The project called for a pipeline to be constructed from Ocean Cay to New Providence at no cost.

Then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he would not be “pushed into doing it”.

The company pulled back after technological challenges and associated costs, according to U.S. Embassy cables.

It made a similar push for approval with the Christie administration in 2005.

Miller, the minister of trade and industry in the Christie administration at the time, was the government’s chief proponent of LNG.

Yesterday, Miller said he was not involved in, or privy to, the recent negotiations.

He said he only heard speculation and what the prime minister said.

In a separate interview yesterday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said while he had not seen evidence of the deal, if such an agreement was made it would be reviewed carefully.

During a National General Council (NGC) meeting of the PLP on Monday night, Christie announced that among the final acts of the government, Cabinet approved a natural gas energy deal.

Christie said if followed through, the agreement would bring about more affordable and reliable power to The Bahamas.

When asked about the timing of the approval, Miller said governments do a number of things before elections.

“I guess you try to do what you figure you need to do before that day comes and hope that the day would pan out better for you, but it didn’t,” he said.

“That’s the luck of the draw. You win some, you lose some.”


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