Developers of the $6.3 billion project proposed for East Grand Bahama are securing the final documents necessary to satisfy government for approval.
Kenneth Russell, former MP for the area, is now senior vice president in the Government and Civic Affairs Office for the Kylin International Group, the chief developer behind the Blackwood Pointe Resort and Spa project.
The project includes eight hotels, a casino and cruise ship terminal in the east.
The group has had three meetings with Prime Minister Perry Christie and at the last meeting it was revealed that three documents were necessary for government approval.
The project is estimated to be completed in three to five years with an international airport, manufacturing plants and a minor freight port at the Missile Base; a reverse osmosis plant at the east of Statoil; and a cruise port that will span across the most eastern end of the island between Pelican Point and McLean's Town.
According to Russell, Lawrence McDonough, who heads the Kylin Group, is in China securing the necessary documentation and is due back in The Bahamas this week.
" When he comes back, he will bring all of the documentation. Once he brings that documentation we will arrange a meeting to present to the prime minister," he told The Freeport News yesterday.
" He'll be back on this side of the world at the end of this week and weâ ll make an appointment to see the prime minister and the date will be up to the prime minister."
Russell said, he hopes the meeting will take place before the end of the month.
" We're supposed to be presenting the prime minister the last three pieces of documents he asked for and afterwards weâ ll get our approval with which to move forward," said Russell.
The former Cabinet minister said, it is his understanding that approval will be immediate.
" So as far as I'm concerned when we give him the documentation we should get approval the same day or approval in principle," he said.
"Now I assume immediately means after he confirms that they're authentic."
Russell was intricately involved in the project and instrumental in bringing the Chinese and New York-based partners to the government after he was shot down on numerous occasions by the former Free National Movement government.
He was eventually fired from the Cabinet over matter.
" We have a list of things we have to accomplish for final approval," he told The Freeport News. "We will then go at that list in full force to seek to have it finished within three or four months, get our final approval and then weâ ll move forward by going and developing the project."
" Approval in principle means that you have approval pending you doing certain things satisfactory to government."
He said the group has no difficulty fulfilling government's requirements.
" We have no problem with that at all," he assured.
As for the $6.3 billion proposed for the project, Russell said those numbers could increase once they are given final approval and start construction.
" Because there are other persons who want to join in with us in doing things that would be considered after approval,. But right now, that's what it is," he said.