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.
posted on: Monday, March 02, 2015 2:19 PM
To Jck, like the saying goes "you hit the nail on the head." I so agree with you.
Jck posted on: Monday, March 02, 2015 1:20 PM
I have no comment about the feasibility of the proposal as such except to say that if it is credible this could be very good news. However I am constantly astonished and embarrassed when Bahamians such as others commenting above use the slave argument of working for others as a negative about progress- Working for someone else who is not Bahamian whilst being paid is not being a slave ! ! ! and we need to get this out of our heads now. Grand bahama has had many years to prove itself capable of looking after itself and to build business etc by not having foreigners come in but yet it has achieved nothing except go down hill. People in GB are starving and going without electricity etc, crime is rising due to lack of employment .We need to think again . In order for a a country to grow you need immigration and foreign companies -it is not a bad thing and this applies all over the western world -where would the USA be without italians, jewish , polish immigrants etc - for goodness sakes Grand bahamians wake up and smell the coffee- either accept foreign money coming in and foreign workers or the island will die a death and end up impoverished like Haiti. You may have to work for others for a time , we may need to do this for say 20-25 years - but use this as an opportunity - instead of complaining about it , work for others to get money to raise money to start your own businesses- work for others to gain experience that you don't have at present, work for others to use the money to develop the schools and get better equipment and more teachers to invest in the future of GB. We currently have a lost generation of people - we don't need another one. Everyone needs to to stop wanting everything for nothing- it has got us nowhere. I am a bahamian and its shocking to see that everyone wants a job but in reality it seems noone actually wants to work at it ! Similarly everyone wants to be head honcho, but noone wants to put the time in developing their career. Everyone wants to own a company but nobody has the skills ! We have had so much opportunity to prove ourselves but have achieved nothing except pain, poverty and corruption. We don't have leaders here, everyone talks and moans but noone actually does anything - we need people to come in and kick start the economy to give us another opportunity that hopefully we wont waste next time - A little humility on this island would go a long long way.
posted on: Thursday, October 23, 2014 10:57 PM
I agree with the comment made by Concerned posted Sat. Feb. 8th, 2014. Something is not right here. BUT, I bet half of that money that foreign investors will use this as another way to build themselves up and use the Bahamians as modern slaves as always. For example, look at how many hotels they are building, "The project includes eight hotels..." EIGHT???? "... a casino and cruise ship terminal in the east." Open your eyes people, slave labor for Bahamians!!! Don't just sit back and say, "But at least jobs are coming!" Yes, jobs are coming, but why does it always have to be because of foreign investors????? Why can't half of that money be used to build just ONE or TWO new schools to employ the brand new college Bahamian students coming out??? ONE company or restaurant owned by Bahamians only, employing only Bahamians???? We work for others like slaves, only getting bread, water and clothes to keep us going. We are being environmentally pillaged, rape and destroyed as one commenter wrote. These foreigners come in with smiles on their faces, but money to put in their pockets while we get the scraps, they DO NOT care about the Bahamians, they only want the Bahamians to work for them!...don't believe me, look at what they are planning to build. They are not investing in you (Bahamians) They are investing in themselves. THINK people! You will work for little, while the ship docks and bring in the money for them! READ the comment that PM posted! The Bahamas is truly a destroyed nation. Sad to say it, but it is true.
gold rush posted on: Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:24 PM
It,s Amazing how people just don't want to see this government fulfill the purpose of jobs.
Wake up! grand bahama, it's your time! Enjoy the coming job boom.
PM posted on: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 4:46 PM
As long as it makes my bank account grow larger, I could care less about all your stupid comments.
Concerned posted on: Saturday, February 08, 2014 11:14 PM
What I don't understand is HOW are they to make money to pay for this project. A $6,000,000,000.00 project would have a payment of a about $300,000,000.00 a year just for funding, that's alot of zeros my friends. This does not include operational costs. What is Freeport going to do with the container port that is there already which by the way is not doing to great. The people of Grand Bahama need to open their eyes and realize that something is not right here. Instead of looking for new headache they should be looking at fixing whats wrong with what they have now. They are talking about a new power plant how are they going to around Emera GBPC with monopoly that exist now and if they do at what rate will the people be paying for power?? Your friend above looks very happy?
posted on: Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:15 PM
I would not be very surprised that this project that is proposed will be the benchmark for all major and smaller construction and development projects in the Commonwealth, my understand is that the developers are planning many town meetings with John / Jane Q. Public. I have heard that they will have international high profile consultants ,friends and experts on environmental issues as well as key members from the Commonwealth. The word is that they plan to fix many of the other problems that have been caused by reckless and utter disregard, I shall retract this and say uneducated planning and execution on environmental issues in the areas of the projects boundaries. I understand from talk on the street that they will be a good corporate citizen and steward for the island we all love and respect and this is not just for the environment but for social and educational and jobs. I look for the day that they speak in public on the project and offer some more details to the game changer for Grand Bahama. Out with the old and in with the new, Status Quo must go.
Joseph Darville posted on: Thursday, December 05, 2013 5:22 PM
Where is and when will we see an environmental impact study, an EIA and EMP, for this massive project, particularly the proposed cruise port "between Pelican Point and McClean's Town? I pray this is not another Bimini type of environmental pillage, rape and destruction.